Engi­neer Ari and the Hanukkah Mishap

Deb­o­rah Bod­in Cohen; Sha­har Kober, illus.
  • Review
By – November 7, 2011
Engi­neer Ari and his red steam engine return to cel­e­brate the Fes­ti­val of Lights. As Ari hur­ries to the Jerusalem sta­tion with his arms full of pack­ages, he pass­es two boys reen­act­ing the tri­umph of the Mac­cabees and two girls play­ing drei­del to com­mem­o­rate Hanukkah’s great mir­a­cle. Ari is look­ing for­ward to return­ing to Jaf­fa so he can cel­e­brate with his friends but when his train encoun­ters a stub­born camel on the tracks in Modi’in, it is a Bedouin shep­herd who comes to his aid. Ari asks his new friend, Kalil, to join him while he lights the Hanukki­ah and eats his suf­ganiy­ot. Once again, young read­ers will enjoy the famil­iar ele­ments of the hol­i­day and also the sim­ple charm of Engi­neer Ari, whose friend­ly, earnest demeanor makes these books such a plea­sure to read. Of par­tic­u­lar note are the girls’ drei­dels that dis­play the Hebrew let­ters Nun, Gimel, Hay, and Pay (Nes Gadol Hayah Po), remind­ing chil­dren that the great mir­a­cle of Hanukkah hap­pened here” in the Land of Israel. Com­bin­ing cheer­ful illus­tra­tions, a friend­ly text, appeal­ing char­ac­ters and a bright red train, this book will have chil­dren chant­i­ng Toot! Toot!” for eight days and nights. Includes a brief descrip­tion of the hol­i­day, a glos­sary, and a pho­to-his­to­ry of the first steam engine to trav­el between Jerusalem and Jaf­fa in 1892. Rec­om­mend­ed for ages 2 – 7.
Teri Mark­son has been a children’s librar­i­an for over 18 years. She is cur­rent­ly the act­ing senior librar­i­an at the Val­ley Plaza Branch Library in North Hol­ly­wood, CA.

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