Hanukkah Cook­ies With Sprinkles

David A. Adler Jef­frey Ebbel­er, illus.
  • Review
By – December 2, 2015

Mas­ter sto­ry­teller David Adler has tak­en on the Jew­ish sub­ject of tzedakah (char­i­ty) with grace and humor. A young girl, Sara, watch­es out the win­dow as her moth­er leaves for work each morn­ing. As she waves to her moth­er, she notices an old man tak­ing a bruised apple from a box of unsellable mer­chan­dise left by the fruit man, Sol. Her Grand­ma explains that the man is prob­a­bly hun­gry. As the sto­ry pro­gress­es, Sara enlists her fam­i­ly and class­mates in pro­vid­ing food for the man. As Hanukkah approach­es, sandwich­es and fruit give way to latkes and Hanukkah cook­ies with sprin­kles. When they meet the man at Fri­day night ser­vices, they invite him for Shab­bat din­ner and learn that he for­mer­ly worked in a cir­cus. At din­ner, he amazes Sara and her fam­i­ly with his jug­gling per­for­mance and promis­es to teach Sara how to juggle.

This is a warm sto­ry, high­ly rec­om­mend­ed for ages 4 – 7 and per­fect for use in preschool and ear­ly ele­men­tary set­tings. In addi­tion to dis­cus­sions of tzedakah, it can spark conversa­tions about what con­sti­tutes a fam­i­ly, since Sara lives with her moth­er and grandmother.

Sandy Lan­ton, a for­mer teacher, earned a BA in Psy­chol­o­gy and an MS in Ear­ly Child­hood Edu­ca­tion from Queens Col­lege. She is the author of Daddy’s Chair (Syd­ney Tay­lor Award), The Hap­py Hack­ers, Lots Of Latkes, Still a Fam­i­ly: A Young Child’s Book About Divorce (Git­tle Hon­or­able Men­tion), and The Lit­tlest Levine (named one of the best Jew­ish Children’s Books of 2014 by Tablet Mag­a­zine). Her work has appeared in mag­a­zines as well as sev­er­al antholo­gies. When she isn’t writ­ing sto­ries or vis­it­ing schools, Ms. Lan­ton likes to cro­chet, line dance, play bridge and pick­le­ball, spend time with her grandchil­dren, and read, read, read.

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