The fragility of a child’s lovingly crafted clay menorah highlights the symbolism of the candle-lighting ritual.
At school, Sadie works hard to carefully sculpt and paint her clay menorah, featuring a raised, centered candle holder for the shamas (lighting candle) and flanked on either side by four lower candle holders. Proud of her blue-and-pink work of art, Sadie is eager to show it to her mother on the last day of the week. In her rush, she trips and drops the menorah, which breaks into “a million, zillion pieces.” Through tears and disappointment, Sadie and her mom realize that while the shattered menorah is not repairable, the shamas remains perfectly intact and becomes “Sadie’s Super Shammash” to light all the menorahs in the home each year. Korngold and Fortenberry’s Sadie, of Sadie’s Sukkah Breakfast (2011), is adaptable. She subtly demonstrates the importance of the ninth candle on a menorah, which is always set apart as the one to kindle the flame on each new candle each night. A combination of gouache and scratch art details the sequence of scenes and emotions, which range from happy anticipation to surprised dismay to satisfaction and pride.
A lovely, realistic examination of one specific aspect of the holiday, this will spark discussion as well as inspiration. (Picture book. 3-6)