Kay­la and Kugel’s Hap­py Hanukkah

  • Review
By – December 7, 2020

Young Kay­la and her faith­ful — slight­ly mis­chie­vous — dog, Kugel, are back for anoth­er adven­ture, sure to delight and edu­cate young chil­dren, and win over even more fans for this charm­ing duo. This time, they are cel­e­brat­ing Hanukkah and doing it with their usu­al panache. The adven­ture begins even before Hanukkah arrives as they search a trea­sure-filled attic for the box in which the Hanukkah meno­rahs are stored. Before they locate the box they are look­ing for, they stum­ble upon one filled with Purim cos­tumes which Kugel glee­ful­ly tries on and mod­els. The search con­tin­ues until the Hanukkah box is locat­ed; Kay­la edu­cates Kugel — along with the read­er — about the his­to­ry and mean­ing of the hol­i­day. Then Kay­la, Kugel, and their fam­i­ly enjoy Hanukkah togeth­er — light­ing can­dles, play­ing drei­del, and hav­ing a grand old time.

An author’s note puts the hol­i­day in con­text for the read­er, meld­ing Kay­la’s inter­est in its his­to­ry with Kugel’s sense of fun. Two thought­ful ques­tions are posed to encour­age the read­er to give addi­tion­al thought to the hol­i­day celebration.

Koff­sky’s fab­u­lous illus­tra­tions dif­fer­en­ti­ate between mod­ern times and the his­tor­i­cal retelling with her effec­tive use of col­or. The his­to­ry is shown in shades of gold and sepia; Kay­la, her fam­i­ly, and their home are por­trayed in deep, rich, vibrant col­or. Facial expres­sions and humor­ous touch­es make it very clear that Kay­la and Kugel know how to cel­e­brate in style. Koff­sky shows us in both words and pic­tures that Hanukkah has an impor­tant his­to­ry which res­onates through­out the gen­er­a­tions, and is also a hol­i­day of abun­dant fun!

Michal Hoschan­der Malen is the edi­tor of Jew­ish Book Coun­cil’s young adult and children’s book reviews. A for­mer librar­i­an, she has lec­tured on top­ics relat­ing to lit­er­a­cy, run book clubs, and loves to read aloud to her grandchildren.

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