Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Hanukkah!

Tonight is the first night of Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights. My all time favorite Hanukkah book is Moishe's Miracle, still in print in paperback. Poignantly written by Laura Krauss Melmid, and splendidly illustrated by David Slonim, this is the miraculous story of a poor couple struggling to make ends meet during the time of Hanukkah. Milkman Moishe owns only two cows ("Moo-ishe, Moo-oishe" they moo) but he gives away his milk and cream to the poor people of Wishniak.
His bitter wife Baila has no money to buy food and goodies for Hanukkah so she sends her husband to the barn . A kind stranger and a magical black frying pan, that only Moishe should use, come to the rescue in this tale of redemption and transformation. The illustrations glow with such light and warmth that you may need sunglasses. And the expressions on the character's faces captured by Slonim in his oil paintings are a treasure. There's also an explanation of Hanukkah in the back along with a glossary of Hebrew and Yiddish words.The book won the 2000 National Jewish Book Award for a picture book ( I was on the jury). And look for the mouse in the pictures. Click here to hear it read aloud on NPR


Kelly said...

What a wonderful, expressive illustration on the cover!

Elaine Magliaro said...


MOISHE'S MIRACLE is one of my favorite Hanukkah stories. I used to read it aloud in the library in the elementray school where I worked. I also love HERSHEL AND THE HANUKKAH GOBLINS. Other favorites by Eric Kimmel: ZIGAZAK: A MAGICAL HANUKKAH NIGHT, THE CHANUKKAH GUEST, and THE MAGIC DREIDELS.

In November, I heard Kimmel speak at a children's literature festival in New Hampshire. He is a wonderful presenter--so full of funny childhood stories.

poemhome said...

I also met Eric Kimmel at an IRA conference and he signed some books for my own kids. Such a warm funny fellow and so prolific.

gel said...

Gorgeous cover illustration! I paint, but haven't illustrated books, other than homemade ones.

I'll have to look for this book in the library. That's awesome that you were on the jury. I can't wait to share it with my family for Channukkah. (Happy mid-Channukkah!)

gel said...

Well, after my brain kicked in some inTELLigence jumpstarting, I took a grand tour of the books you've written and illustrated by visiting Amazon. My kids are now teens or I'd have seen your delightful books. I'm a voracious reader, active with children, writing and especially as a professional artist, so I'll pass on this find of you!

I admire your work. After seeing you pun also, I feel a kinship. (My family kids me no end with the puns they've endured since I was a child, but I think punning and nonsense words help us retain that playfulness every adult should still relish.