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Sadie's Almost Marvelous Menorah
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About the Author

Rabbi Jamie S. Korngold received ordination from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and is the founder and spiritual leader of the Adventure Rabbi Program. She lives in Boulder, Colorado with her two daughters, Sadie and Ori. Julie Fortenberry is an abstract painter and a children's book illustrator. She has a Master of Fine Arts from Hunter College in New York, and lives in Philadelphia.

Reviews

Hebrew school was ever so much fun. Sadie sang Hebrew songs, played house at the 'wooden sink in the kitchen corner, ' and snuggled up in an overstuffed green chair to spend quiet time with a book. Sadie loved everything about school, including her teacher, Morah Rachel. She even gave her a paper heart to prove it. During circle time Morah Rachel asked if anyone knew what special holiday was coming up soon. Well, the hands began to wave wildly because everyone knew that Hanukkah was nearing. Sadie began to think of all the special things she did during the holiday season.

Sadie would spin her dreidel, eat some 'potato latkes with applesauce, ' and help 'mommy and Daddy light their Hanukkah menorahs.' She could picture Mommy lifting her up with the shammash to light them, the thing she loved most of all. When Morah Rachel told them they were going to make menorahs Sadie was really excited. 'My very own Hanukkah menorah!' All the boys and girls began to sculpt their menorahs and when they were done Sadie had the prettiest one of all. On Friday when she ran to Mommy to show her that pink and blue menorah she dropped it. How would Sadie be able to celebrate Hanukkah with a menorah that 'broke into a million, zillion pieces?'

This is the delightfully charming tale of Sadie's near-disastrous Hanukkah celebration. When the beautiful menorah hits the floor young readers will want to know what in the world can happen to make poor Sadie feel better. The surprising little twist at the end turns a disaster into something very special and memorable. The artwork is bold, bright, and has a somewhat retro feel that I've seen in the other 'Sadie' books. Young children will learn a bit about the menorah, the Hanukkah celebration, and that not all is lost when something is broken. In the back of the book are a few candle blessings. This is an excellent story that any parent or caretaker can use to begin a child's religious education or simply read for enjoyment.

Quill says: If you're a fan of Jamie Korngold's 'Sadie' series, you're sure to love her almost disastrous Hanukkah celebration! -- Feathered Quill

-- "Website"

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) --Kirkus Reviews

-- "Journal"

The kids in Sadie's class are excited to make their own menorahs. While they mold and shape and paint, their teacher, Morah Rachel, tells them about the holiday. On Friday Sadie is thrilled to take home her special pink and blue creation, but she trips, shattering the menorah into a million, zillion pieces. Luckily the shammash remains intact - a Hanukkah miracle! - and a new tradition begins. The family from Sadie's Sukkah Breakfast and Sadie and the Big Mountain again demonstrates how kindness and creativity can overcome small (but they seem huge) setbacks. Illustrations filled with Hanukkah cheer capture both the bustling and the quiet times of Sadie's classroom; light-infused pictures of the family at home radiate warmth. -- The Horn Book

-- "Journal"

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