Tuesday, December 9, 2014

REVIEW: The Dreidel That Wouldn't Spin

The Dreidel That Wouldn't Spin
Martha Seif Simpson

Genre: Children, Holiday, Hanukkah
Publisher: Wisdom Tales
Publication date: 10.1.2014
Pages: 32

Recommended by: NetGalley, Read 2 Review
Date read: 12.6.2014

Summary: "This dreidel doesn't work!" the father had cried.  "What do you mean?  How can a dreidel not work?" the shopkeeper asked.  It was certainly the most beautiful spinning top the shopkeeper had ever seen, with magical golden letters on its sides.  But it just would not spin for two spoiled children who insisted on owning it!  Later, the shopkeeper decides to try it one last time: would it spin for another child, one who carried the true spirit of Hanukkah in his heart?  In this beautiful holiday story by award-winning illustrator Martha Simpson, and brought to life by the imaginative illustrations of award-winning illustrator D. Yael Bernhard, the happiness and joy of the Hanukkah miracle will warm the heart of young and old alike with its simple message: wonders still occur for those who are ready for them.  Included is a useful appendix that explains Hanukkah, and an explanation on how to play the dreidel game.

My sister always had a fascination with dreidels when we were younger.  We are not Jewish and we never actually saw one played with, but one day, when she was 10 and I was 14, she came across some at a little kiosk at the mall.  A few days later, we went to the library and she looked at several books, trying to find out all she could about them.  She's even asked for them for Christmas.  When I came upon this book on NetGalley, I had to pick it up, just to see - and now I plan on buying her a copy of her own. :)

This is a beautiful story - filled with beautiful artwork - that is a great read for every one, no matter how old they are, and not just those who celebrate Hanukkah.  The end made me smile through the tears that fell on my cheeks.  The author's note and appendix at the end give some extra information as well as teach you how to play the game.

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