By: Jamie Korngold
Illustrated by: Julie Fortenberry
Publisher: Kar-Ben Publishing
Publication Date: August 2013
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: November 2013
Hebrew school was ever so much fun. Sadie sang Hebrew songs, played house at the “wooden sink in the kitchen corner,” and snuggled up in an overstuffed green chair to spend quiet time with a book. Sadie loved everything about school, including her teacher, Morah Rachel. She even gave her a paper heart to prove it. During circle time Morah Rachel asked if anyone knew what special holiday was coming up soon. Well, the hands began to wave wildly because everyone knew that Hanukkah was nearing. Sadie began to think of all the special things she did during the holiday season.
Sadie would spin her dreidel, eat some “potato latkes with applesauce,” and help “mommy and Daddy light their Hanukkah menorahs.” She could picture Mommy lifting her up with the shammash to light them, the thing she loved most of all. When Morah Rachel told them they were going to make menorahs Sadie was really excited. “My very own Hanukkah menorah!” All the boys and girls began to sculpt their menorahs and when they were done Sadie had the prettiest one of all. On Friday when she ran to Mommy to show her that pink and blue menorah she dropped it. How would Sadie be able to celebrate Hanukkah with a menorah that “broke into a million, zillion pieces?”
This is the delightfully charming tale of Sadie’s near-disastrous Hanukkah celebration. When the beautiful menorah hits the floor young readers will want to know what in the world can happen to make poor Sadie feel better. The surprising little twist at the end turns a disaster into something very special and memorable. The artwork is bold, bright, and has a somewhat retro feel that I’ve seen in the other “Sadie” books. Young children will learn a bit about the menorah, the Hanukkah celebration, and that not all is lost when something is broken. In the back of the book are a few candle blessings. This is an excellent story that any parent or caretaker can use to begin a child’s religious education or simply read for enjoyment.
Quill says: If you're a fan of Jamie Korngold's "Sadie" series, you're sure to love her almost disastrous Hanukkah celebration!