When the Knoodle family sets out to give the perfect Hanukkah gifts, something goes terribly awry. The menorah is lovely, the singing is delightful, and the potato pancakes are delicious, but the presents are all wrong. Papa Jack gets a flowery sun hat, big sister Shayna gets a box full of tree frogs, and little brother Yekl gets a pickle barrel. Nobody can figure out what happened, but everyone agrees that Hanukkah is ruined. Their only hope is some last minute advice by their rabbi. See how the Knoodles save Hanukkah and learn how to give the perfect gift in The Best Hanukkah Ever.
I will begin by saying that this was not my favorite holiday book. My favorites are usually the ones that leave you crying at the end or have some super deep message with complicated symbolism. My kids, on the other hand, thought that this book was awesome. First of all, it’s about a family called the Knoodles. And let me be clear, you MUST pronounce the K separately or you have ruined the whole book. The other names are great too, especially Yekl and Bubby Sadi (who is the grandma). Who hasn’t wanted to call their grandma Bubby every now and then? There is just a smattering of cultural information for the Christian kids who might be reading, and then the present mix-up which is light and silly. Finish it all up and a clear and relevant holiday message (think of the receiver when you give a gift, not yourself) and it’s bedtime magic.
See if this book is at your public library at World Cat.
Find out more about award-winning author Barbara Diamond Goldin.
Avi Katz also has a website about her illustrating career.