Tami Lehman-Wilzig gives readers a terrific overview of the history and observance of Hanukkah, including a glimpse into holiday celebrations in Jewish communities in many parts of the world. Her explanation of the origin of the holiday is careful to give primacy to the miracle of the Maccabees’ military victory, while still including the familiar story of the miracle of the oil. Introductory material includes the origin of and rules for playing dreidel, discussion of various customs regarding lighting the candles, and the information about the Scroll of Antiochus. Sections about fictional children in the US and Israel accompany those about children in Turkey, Uzbekistan, Italy, Australia, Poland, and Tunisia. Each section includes a related recipe and a brief history of that Jewish community. A glossary is included. Vicki Wehrman’s beautiful maps and illustrations are worthy companions to the informative, accessible text. For ages 7 – 10.
Marci Lavine Bloch earned her MLS from the University of Maryland, a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and an MA in English Literature from Fordham University. She has worked in synagogue and day school libraries and is currently finishing her term on the Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee.