Mir­a­cle for Shi­ra: A Chanukah Story

Galia Sab­bag; Erin Tay­lor, illus.
  • Review
By – June 15, 2015

When Shi­ra’s aunt sends her a sevivon—a drei­del — from Israel, Shi­ra notices that it looks dif­fer­ent than her oth­er drei­dels. Her moth­er explains to Shi­ra that on this drei­del the Hebrew let­ter pay has been used instead of a shin, because in Israel they say a great mir­a­cle hap­pened here,” rather than a great mir­a­cle hap­pened there,” as it does on her oth­er drei­dels. Shi­ra takes the spe­cial drei­del to school to show her class­mates. They enjoy play­ing with it, singing hol­i­day songs and eat­ing soof­ganiy­ot (jel­ly dough­nuts) to cel­e­brate Chanukah. Shi­ra puts the drei­del next to the class jug of oil, the can­dle box, the bless­ings page and their Chanuki­ah. But when she can’t find it on the sec­ond day, she sad­ly search­es all over the school. She final­ly finds it on the eighth day at the very bot­tom of the can­dle box, and declares recov­er­ing it to be a mir­a­cle! She is very hap­py that the chil­dren can resume play­ing drei­del games with the spe­cial drei­del before Chanukah is over. 

Chil­dren will enjoy Erin Tay­lor’s live­ly illus­tra­tions and learn­ing the words sprin­kled through­out the sto­ry, which are writ­ten in translit­er­a­tion, Eng­lish and Hebrew. The Chanukah bless­ings and instruc­tions for play­ing the drei­del game are includ­ed. As in her oth­er Shi­ra sto­ries, includ­ing A Rimon for Shi­ra and Shi­ra in the Tem­ple, Shi­ra is a com­pos­ite of the stu­dents and their experi­ences encoun­tered by Sab­bag over the fif­teen years she has been teach­ing. Rec­om­mend­ed for ages 5 – 8.

Andrea David­son is the librar­i­an of The Tem­ple-Tifer­eth Israel in Beach­wood, Ohio. She holds an M.L.S. from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Michi­gan and is a for­mer mem­ber of the Syd­ney Tay­lor Book Awards Com­mit­tee. She enjoys try­ing out the books she reviews on the kids at the Tem­ple and on her grandchildren.

Discussion Questions