A Hanukkah Present
A collection of short stories, all set in Chelm, the village of fools, take place around the holiday of Hanukkah. We meet several interesting villagers, including Mrs. Chaipul (who is wise but makes infe- rior potato latkes), Rabbi Kibbitz, (the town rabbi), and Little Doodle (the village orphan), who is the hero of the most outstanding story entitled “Out of the Woods.” It is longer and has a more cohesive plot than do the other tales. In this thirty-five-page story, the Cossacks ride into Chelm in order to procure (i.e. steal) food and provisions while the Chelmites flee and hide out in the forest. The book is followed by a glossary and notes. In this anthology, the reader is introduced to many silly Chelmites and also to the life of Jews in Eastern Europe at an earlier time in history. By and large the stories are light in tone and content, and all of them have previously been published in magazines and newspapers, such as Cricket, Jewish Daily Forward, Washington Jewish Week, and others. According to a note by the author, his book is based on a CD from his storytelling tour. Ages 8–12.