Blond, bespectacled Sadie returns in this third satisfying holiday tale that turns a mishap into a mishpokhe mesoyre, a family tradition. On the Monday before Hanukkah, Morah Rachel gives the children in her class a block of clay to make their own menorahs. The rest of the week Sadie eagerly works on shaping and painting her menorah while learning to recite the blessings over the candles. Alas, when Friday comes she is so excited to show Mommy her pink menorah with blue squiggles that she trips and drops it, causing the whole thing to shatter except for the shammash holder. Wise Mommy tells Sadie that they will give the remnant an extra special job, and on the first night of Hanukkah she uses it to hold the candle that will light the shammash on all of the other family menorahs. “And in Sadie’s family, that’s how the Hanukkah menorahs are lit, even today.” This simple, elegant solution to Sadie’s distress is characteristic of the warm loving tone set throughout the book, enhanced by appealing two-page spreads depicting a sunny Jewish preschool full of friendly and engaged children, many wearing yarmulkes (as is Morah Rachel.) Textured backdrops and surfaces combined with a bright earthy palette give the whole an airy, affable feel, perfect for this holiday celebrating a positive outcome over adversity. Recommended for ages 2 – 6.
Sadie’s Almost Marvelous Menorah
Teri Markson has been a children’s librarian for over 18 years. She is currently the acting senior librarian at the Valley Plaza Branch Library in North Hollywood, CA.
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