Editorial Review

School Library Journal

Cover: A Hanukkah with Mazel

“Misha is a poor artist living in a tiny cottage on the outskirts of the Eastern European village of Grodno. The locals are unable to afford his artwork, but he subsists on the potatoes from his garden and the milk from his old cow, Klara. When a lost cat wanders into his barn, Misha shares what little he has with her and names her Mazel, meaning luck. On the first night of Hanukkah, Misha fries potato latkes in oil and shares them with Mazel. While he has his grandfather’s beautiful silver menorah, he does not have any candles to light for the holiday. “I may not have candles but I am an artist, and an artist has paint!” So Misha paints a picture of his menorah, and on each night of Hanukkah, he adds a flame to the appropriate candle. But he is worried he will not have enough paint to last for all eight nights. As with the miracle of the oil in the Hanukkah story, he has just enough paint so that on the last night of the holiday, all eight candles in his picture are lit, plus the shammash. The next day, Meyer the peddler knocks on the door and offers to buy Misha’s paintings to sell to his customers. When Meyer sees Mazel, he immediately recognizes her as his lost cat, Goldie. Luckily, he realizes how happy she is with Misha and asks him to take care of her. Misha is relieved—Mazel has certainly brought him luck this Hanukkah season! The sophisticated watercolor illustrations depict shtetl life and beautifully complement the text. VERDICT Though very little information is included about the history and customs of Hanukkah, this is a heartwarming tale for readers of all faiths.”―School Library Journal

Products Reviewed

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A Hanukkah with Mazel
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