The Golden Dreidle

Hanukkah Hop, by Erica Silverman

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Rachel’s twirling streamers Daddy blows up blue balloons Mommy sizzles latkes as she hums a Hanukkah tune. It's Hanukkah! It's a time to celebrate family and enjoy festive traditions. As Rachel and her parents prepare the house, grandparents, cousins, and friends travel from near and far to sing and tell stories. Together, they will light candles, play games, and eat scrumptuous holiday foods... and, of course, dance the Hanukkah Hop. The stamping, the hopping, and the bim-bim-bopping is sure to go on all night! Erica Silverman's lively, rollicking text is sure to inspire every member of the family in celebrating the Festival of Lights! What a delightful little book! The glossary appears at the front—before any Yiddish or Hebrew words have been used. The only descriptive word I can think of for the rhymes is "rollicking." Rachel and her family are decorating their house for their Hanukkah party, and even the cat (Kitzel) and dog (Doodle) have something to do—although chasing dreidels and sneaking donuts from the table probably aren't what the parents had in mind. Outside the living room window, Rachel can see a city street, with planes, trains, cars, motorbikes, and even campers—and they're all coming to her house! Well, no, they're not all coming to her house, but the relatives and friends who all seem to arrive at once have come in every conveyance possible. This city scene is my favorite in the whole book. Streetlights are lit, there are piles of snow at the curbs and on an awning, and some windows—but not all of them—have lights on. The snowflakes are flashing six-pointed stars. The few pedestrians on the street look as if they're hurrying! After the menorahs are lit, "Mommy tells the story of the band of Maccabees..." and then it is time for dreidels and latkes. The surprise of the night is the appearance of the klezmer band! The dancing and singing seem to go on for hours, and even after the guests and musicians have all gone to sleep (on chairs, sofas, and cots) Rachel is still dancing. Read it again—this is too much fun for a one-time read. Hardcover, 32 pages, isbn 9781442406049

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