Danielito visits his Bobe during the holiday of Janucá. The other children in his neighborhood in Mexico are playing with their trompos, or Mexican tops. Danielito takes Bobe’s dreidel and joins in their game. The dreidel and the trompos spin far afield, leading the boys on a merry and exciting chase. Then, Danielito invites his new friends to Bobe’s house to share some delicious Janucá treats. They light the candles and feast on delicious buñuelos and latkes. After striking a treat-filled, dreidel-shaped piñata and playing a rousing game of dreidel, Danielito realizes he has made new friends. And they’ve all had a marvelous time.
Colorful pictures with Mexican influences complete this educational and charming story. An author’s note describes the history of the Maccabees and how Hanukkah, spelled Janucá in Spanish, grew into a joyful celebration. It also teaches about the development of the Mexican Jewish community and how Hanukkah is celebrated in Mexico — demonstrating both similarities and differences in how the holiday is observed worldwide.
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.