Dazzlingly intricate paper sculptures commemorate both the holiday and some of the settings in which it has been celebrated over the centuries since “Jewish freedom first was fought.”
Each night pairs a solemn passage from Rosen (“Tonight, the fifth night of Chanukah, our six lights flicker in a dark shtetl”) to a large, multi-leveled white structure that rises, unfolds and weaves into shape against a richly colored background as the spread is opened. An entire ship in full sail, a desert tent, a tenement building with pushcarts out front and laundry swaying on lines of string or, in the final scene, a high-rise city topped by nine slender skyscrapers capped with gold foil “flames” emerge in gloriously solemn spreads. The lacy delicacy of the architectural and other details creates intricate visual mazes that positively compel long, close examination. Some spreads open flat, others to 90 degrees; each will transport viewers to another time and place, leaving them in a properly reflective, celebratory mood.
A grand display item, undeniably fragile but capable of surviving—and rewarding—multiple careful readings. (Pop-up picture book/religion. 6-8, adult)