When Mindy Saved Hanukkah (Scholastic Bookshelf)

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9780439769907: When Mindy Saved Hanukkah (Scholastic Bookshelf)

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Little Mindy Klein lives with her tiny family behind the walls of the Eldridge Street Synagogue. When Mindy's father sprains his ankle right before Hanukkah, he is unable to bring home a candle for the menorah. So Mindy decides to set out and find the candle herself. But first she has to face off with an enormous, frightening cat. With a lot of bravery (and a little help from grandpa) Mindy manages to save Hanukkah just in time...and learns the true meaning behind the Festival of Lights.

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Review:

The Klein family--little people reminiscent of The Borrowers--live behind the walls of the famous Eldridge Street Synagogue in New York City at the turn of the century. On the day before Hanukkah, Papa ventures out to "borrow" a candle from the synagogue so it can be melted down into tiny candles for the family's miniature menorah. What a disaster! The synagogue's new cat ("a fierce Antiochus of a cat!" Papa claims) pounces on him, leaving him wounded and shaken. How will the Kleins obtain a holiday candle with this killer cat on the loose? Despite the borrowing of a familiar premise (little folks furtively living among humans), award-winning author Eric A. Kimmel (Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins) offers a playful and original springboard for introducing children to the characters, historical landmarks, and symbols of Judaism. For example, when young Mindy volunteers to save Hanukkah (risking an encounter with the cat), she climbs a "lulav" (a palm branch left over from Sukkot) in order to find the candles. When Mindy's wee grandfather saves her from the cat's claws, he is compared to Maccabee, the leader who recaptured Jerusalem from the Greeks. Barbara McClintock's old-fashioned black ink and watercolor paintings, evocative of turn-of-the-century book illustrations, are the perfect accompaniment to this lively, suspenseful tale. (Click to see a sample spread. Text copyright ©1998 by Eric A. Kimmel. Illustrations copyright ©1998 by Barbara McClintock. Permission by Scholastic Press.) (Ages 3 to 8) --Gail Hudson

About the Author:

Barbara McClintock's distinguished books have four times been honored as NEW YORK TIMES Best Illustrated Children's Books.

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Eric Kimmel, Eric A. Kimmel, Barbara McClintock (Illustrator)
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