Over at Chicken Spaghetti, there was a recent post about Hanukkah titles. Oh my, what a great list with all kinds of wonderful contributions. Susan started it all with her personal holiday reading recommendation, many great kidlitosphere minds joined in, and then Susan even added an update to the post. If you’re looking for some highly-praised Hanukkah children’s titles from Those Bloggers in the Know, then this post is a great place to look.
And here’s a great new Hanukkah title: Maxie Baum’s I Have a Little Dreidel, illustrated by Julie Paschkis (published by Scholastic in October of this year). Baum has added some extra lyrics to this classic song, giving us a warm, exuberant look at an extended family’s celebration of Hanukkah (cousins, aunts, uncles — they’re all there). They make and then eat some latkes; they light the menorah; and they play the dreidel game, of course. Baum repeats the familiar verse (“I have a little dreidel, I made it out of clay . . .”) after each new stanza she’s added, and it’s seamlessly done. Paschkis’ illustrations are simply glowing and full of color and life in her folk-art-styled mixed media paintings with their bold, thick lines; she includes many details for the observant readers and depicts much love amidst these revelling family members. The text on the bottom of each page is emphasized in bold blue-and-white borders, and traditional-looking Jewish symbols in blue and white, such as the star of David, enhance the book’s look as well; overall, it’s a tightly-designed, visually-appealing book. And Baum includes a latke recipe, instructions for the dreidel game, and a song sheet at the book’s end.
Ciao for now. Here’s to latkes, which I’ve never tasted. But Eisha had some this past weekend and loved them, and so she will have to make some for me one day. Hint, hint.