Fall 2023

The Mexican Dreidel

  • Interest Level: Preschool - Grade 2
  • Reading Level: Grade 2

Danielito loves Janucá, especially playing dreidel. This year, he is old enough to visit Bobe by himself. Piñatas hang from the trees, and the kids in Bobe’s neighborhood play with Mexican tops called trompos. Danielito does not have a trompo, but he has a dreidel. “What is that?” “¿Qué es eso?” the other kids ask, as they invite him to join their game. The trompos follow the dreidel as it spins through the neighborhood. And Danielito invited his new friends, nuevos amigos, to Bobe’s house to celebrate Janucá.

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Interest Level Preschool - Grade 2
Reading Level Grade 2
Genre Picture Books
Category Diverse Books: Celebrating Differences , Diversity, Holidays
Copyright 2023
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Kar-Ben Publishing ®
Language English
Number of Pages 24
Publication Date 2023-10-03
Text Type Fiction
BISACS JUV017110, JUV030100, JUV040000
Dewey [E]
Dimensions 10.625 x 8.875
Features Author/Illustrator note, Original artwork, and Reviewed

Author: Linda Elovitz Marshall

Linda Elovitz Marshall is an acclaimed author of two dozen books for children. Linda's Jewish-themed books include THE POLIO PIONEER: Dr. Jonas Salk and the Polio Vaccine and the forthcoming and very important, BRAVE VOLODYMYR: The Story of Volodymyr Zelensky and the Fight for Ukraine with illustrations by Ukrainian artist Grasya Oliyko (HarperCollins). Her award-winning work has been translated into almost a dozen languages and adapted for dance, theater, and radio.

Author: Ilan Stavans

Ilan Stavans is an internationally renown, award-winning writer, translator, and teacher born in Mexico. His work, adapted to the screen, TV, radio, and theater, has been published in more than twenty languages.

Illustrator: Maria Mola

Maria Mola loves Saturdays and coffee. Born in Barcelona, she trained at the Francesca Bonnemaison School in Barcelona and the Moore College of Art in Philadelphia. She works in both traditional and digital media, often combining both. She lives in Chicago.


Publishers Weekly

“Mola’s chalky, bright-hued images, which portray characters with brown skin, evoke a sunny, cozy town and the fun of sharing with ‘nuevos amigos.’”—Publishers Weekly

School Library Journal

“This Mexican Janucá (Hanukkah) book, imbued with magical realism, tells a sweet story while introducing Mexican Jewish and non-Jewish holiday traditions, as well as Spanish words. An excellent choice for libraries wanting to expand their Hanukkah collections.”―School Library Journal

Kirkus Reviews

“A heartwarming story celebrating friendship across cultural lines.”―Kirkus Reviews

The Horn Book Magazine

“A relatable story about wanting to fit in and embracing individuality.”—The Horn Book

Jewish Book Council

“Col­or­ful pic­tures with Mex­i­can influ­ences com­plete this edu­ca­tion­al and charm­ing sto­ry.”―Jewish Book Council

Jewish Journal

“In this charmer of a story, kids meet Danielito, a Jewish-Mexican boy who loves celebrating Janucá. Young kids will be enchanted when Danielito’s dreidel takes a magical spin. Maria Mola’s colorful, lively illustrations embellish the upbeat Hanukkah tale.”—Jewish Journal