Sadie’s Almost Mar­velous Menorah

  • Review
By – May 13, 2013

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.

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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