Monday, December 17, 2007

Moishe's Miracle and Hanukkah at Valley Forge

We read both of these books for Hanukkah this year, and they both are part of my Jewish Literature Challenge.

Moishe's Miracle: A Hanukkah Story
Author: Laura Krauss Melmed
Illustrator: David Slonim
Country: America
Year: 2000
Award: 2000 National Jewish Book Award, Children's Lit.

Starlight, star bright
Magic on a winter's nigth
White snow, candle glow
Far away and long ago...

I loved this story. LOVED IT. Moishe is a milk farmer with a truly generous spirit, always giving out extra milk and cream to villagers in need in his small town of Wishniak. His wife, Baila, worries that Moishe's generosity means they will not have enough for themselves to eat. When Moishe receives from a stranger a magic frying pan that produces as many latkes as he desires, the reader discovers the true meaning of generosity, and honesty. I love the folk tale style of this story, and the beautiful illustrations, and will be a delight to read at Hanukkah each year with our daughter. The inclusion of Yiddish and Hebrew words offer learning experiences for both mummy and daughter. :)

Title: Hanukkah at Valley Forge
Author: Stephen Krensky
Illustrator: Greg Harlin
Country: America
Year: 2006

Hanukkah at Valley Forge is the winner of the 2007 Sydney Taylor Award for Young Readers, an award that recognizes the best Jewish children's literature. This story, inspired by a true event, takes place during a bleak winter at Valley Forge (near Philadelphia, PA) in the midst of the American Revolution. General George Washington, through one of his Polish-born soldiers, learns about the history of Hanukkah, drawing a parallel between the Maccabee's war with his own fight for independence.

Geared towards slightly older beginning readers, this is a delightful book that also educates readers of the Jewish presence in early American history.


Heidi Estrin said...

Thanks for mentioning the Sydney Taylor Book Award! We'll be announcing the next batch of winners in January, so keep an eye on

Thanks also for leading me to the Jewish Literature Challenge, which I now want to join!

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

I walked past a copy of Hanukkah at Valley Forge at the library the other day and was intrigued by it. Unfortunately, Opening Act #2 wouldn't let me stop and read it.


Moishe sounds right up my alley, though. I'll have to pick that up and put it away for next year.

Nyssaneala said...

Heidi - Thanks for visiting my journal! I just discovered the Sydney Taylor award, so I will definitely be looking for the winners in January.

Susan - You should definitely check out Moishe's Miracle for next year! Then make some latkes to go with it, yum! (I have a bunch of recipes if you want one)

Callista said...

These sound cool. I sent you another invite to the Jewish Lit challenge blog. I did send a first one but it was never accepted.