When a little girl can’t sleep at nap time, her grandmother teaches her to bake a pie for Hanukkah in this illustrated children’s book.
Janie, a red-haired white girl, just isn’t drowsy when it’s time for her to take a nap. Luckily, her grandmother is happy to put down her knitting: “I’m thrilled you’re awake! / We can bake a surprise— / A Hanukkah treat / For your tummy and eyes.” Step by step, Janie’s grandmother shows her how to mix dough, line a pan, peel and cut apples, “stir in raisins,” “spread the filling,” and so forth. But where is the jam? After they look everywhere—likely and unlikely places—the jam is found. Helping to set the table and clean up the mess, Janie is finally ready for her nap. Later, the whole family celebrates the holiday (“Hanukkah, Hanukkah, / We love you. / Latkes, dreidels— / Lots to do! / Make a pie and / Sing a song… / Hanukkah, Hanukkah / Eight days long!”). Included are a glossary for Yiddish and Hebrew terms; instructions for playing dreidel and lighting the menorah; two Hanukkah songs; and an apple pie recipe. Blumberg (Bunny Romero’s White House Adventure, 2018, etc.) writes amusing rhyming couplets and quatrains in this warmhearted story. With so much to enjoy, no wonder Janie can’t nap. The book does a lovely job of capturing the family fun and holiday spirit of Hanukkah while also teaching traditions. The illustrations by Andriani (A Gefilte Fishy Tale, 2017, etc.) are very appealing, contributing to the storytelling with their soft tones and nicely realized details, such as a “KVELLING board” pinned with children’s awards, drawings, and writing.
An entertaining kids’ introduction to Hanukkah with attractive images.