Hanukkah Ham­ster

Michelle Markel; André Ceolin, illus.

  • Review
By – June 26, 2018

In this delight­ful sto­ry, a taxi dri­ver finds a ham­ster in the back of his cab. After he reports his dis­cov­ery to the cab company’s Lost and Found Depart­ment, he takes the ham­ster to his apart­ment to care for it until the right­ful own­er claims it. Liv­ing alone, far from his home and fam­i­ly in Tel Aviv, Edgar feeds and nur­tures the crea­ture, which he even­tu­al­ly names Chick­pea. He cel­e­brates Hanukkah with his tiny friend, and as the nights of the hol­i­day pass, with no one claim­ing the ham­ster, the rela­tion­ship between the two con­tin­ues to build.

André Ceolin’s beau­ti­ful illus­tra­tions, fea­tur­ing twin­kling lights and diverse char­ac­ters, add to the charm.

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.

Discussion Questions