It’s the first night of Hanukkah and there is a family of mice who live in the basement of the Stilman house. The mice come up from the basement to hear Mr. Stilman light the Hanukkah candles. After Mr. Stilman lights the candle and says the prayers, Rachel gets an exquisitely carved dollhouse with laced curtains “Just the right size for us,” says Mindy and Mitchell, the children of the mice family. While the Stilmans are asleep, the mice family explores and occupies the dollhouse. As each night of the holiday commences, Rachel gets furniture and dishes, which she fills with latkes, gelt and dreidels and places in the dollhouse. On the last night of Hanukkah Rachel gets a menorah. The mice wonder where all the gifts come from while Rachel lies on her bed and smiles. The illustrations are done in gouache with appealing bright colors which add a touch of whimsy and light heartedness to the story. (Michelle Shapiro received the 2007 Sydney Taylor Honor Award for Younger Readers for the book Rebecca’s Journey Home.) Children will enjoy knowing the secret of how the Hanukah goodies are provided to the little mouse family. Parents of young children will find this to be a simple and enjoyable Hanukkah story that does not contain any explanations about the historical or religious aspects of the holiday. Ages 4 – 8.
Barbara Silverman had an M.L.S. from Texas Woman’s University. She worked as a children’s librarian at the Corpus Christi Public Libraries and at the Corpus Christi ISD before retiring. She worked as a volunteer at the Astor Judaic Library of the Lawrence Family JCC in La Jolla, CA. Sadly, Barbara passed away is 2012.