Subscribe to The Horn Book

Review of A Hanukkah with Mazel


A Hanukkah with Mazel
by Joel Edward Stein; illus. by Elisa Vavouri
Primary    Kar-Ben    32 pp.
9/16    978-1-4677-8171-8    $17.99
Paper ed.  978-1-4677-8176-3    $7.99    g
e-book ed.  978-1-5124-0936-9    $6.99

Artist Misha doesn’t have much, but he has enough milk to share with the cat he finds in his barn, whom he names Mazel (“luck”). He can’t afford candles, but he has paint and talent enough to add flames to a menorah on a canvas and share a bright Hanukkah with his new friend. But what happens when that new friend’s old friend knocks at the door? Stein’s voice echoes the cadence of Jewish folktales (the story is similar to Isaac Bashevis Singer’s The Parakeet Named Dreidel, picture-book version rev. 11/15), and Vavouri’s rich-hued illustrations, particularly those of Misha’s own paintings, are reminiscent of Marc Chagall’s work. A hamish, warm, old-fashioned Hanukkah story.

From the November/December 2016 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Shoshana Flax About Shoshana Flax

Shoshana Flax, assistant editor for The Horn Book, Inc., is a former bookseller and holds an MFA in Writing for Children from Simmons College. She is a member of the Sydney Taylor Book Award committee.

Comment Policy:
  1. Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  2. Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  3. Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through (though some comments with links to multiple URLs are held for spam-check moderation by the system). If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.

We accept clean XHTML in comments, but don't overdo it and please limit the number of links submitted in your comment. For more info, see the full Terms of Use.

Speak Your Mind