This evenly paced story explores a common dilemma in Jewish families—that of multiple menorahs—and gives a little boy the opportunity to do some independent problem-solving.
One more menorah may be just one too many for Sam’s household, and at Hebrew school, Sam complains about the menorah-making activity. “My family has seven menorahs! Maybe I can make something else.” Undaunted, the teacher encourages Sam to make one anyway, so Sam resolves to give it to Grammy. Grammy’s weekly phone call reveals that Hanukkah will be quite different in her new building, as open flames are not permitted in the apartments—just in the community room. Even so, everybody just uses the electric menorah. After some reflection, Sam decides his newly created menorah will be the perfect Hanukkah surprise for his grandmother and her condo neighbors, and on the first night, he gives it to her so she can share it and light it in the community room with her friends. Childlike illustrations in muted soft colors depict a particularly appealing Hebrew school classroom and a modern elderly city dweller in striped socks and pink slippers. The dialogue-heavy text is delightfully natural: “Nuh uh,” Sam replies during a guessing game with Grammy.
Sam and his Grammy are a simpatico pair, one readers of all ages will be able to relate to. (Picture book. 5-7)