The Mex­i­can Dreidel

  • Review
By – November 27, 2023

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.

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