The Hanukkah Mice

Steven Kroll; Michelle Shapiro, illus.
  • Review
By – February 15, 2012
It’s the first night of Hanukkah and there is a fam­i­ly of mice who live in the base­ment of the Stil­man house. The mice come up from the base­ment to hear Mr. Stil­man light the Hanukkah can­dles. After Mr. Stil­man lights the can­dle and says the prayers, Rachel gets an exquis­ite­ly carved doll­house with laced cur­tains Just the right size for us,” says Mindy and Mitchell, the chil­dren of the mice fam­i­ly. While the Stil­mans are asleep, the mice fam­i­ly explores and occu­pies the doll­house. As each night of the hol­i­day com­mences, Rachel gets fur­ni­ture and dish­es, which she fills with latkes, gelt and drei­dels and places in the doll­house. On the last night of Hanukkah Rachel gets a meno­rah. The mice won­der where all the gifts come from while Rachel lies on her bed and smiles. The illus­tra­tions are done in gouache with appeal­ing bright col­ors which add a touch of whim­sy and light heart­ed­ness to the sto­ry. (Michelle Shapiro received the 2007 Syd­ney Tay­lor Hon­or Award for Younger Read­ers for the book Rebecca’s Jour­ney Home.) Chil­dren will enjoy know­ing the secret of how the Hanukah good­ies are pro­vid­ed to the lit­tle mouse fam­i­ly. Par­ents of young chil­dren will find this to be a sim­ple and enjoy­able Hanukkah sto­ry that does not con­tain any expla­na­tions about the his­tor­i­cal or reli­gious aspects of the hol­i­day. Ages 4 – 8.
Bar­bara Sil­ver­man had an M.L.S. from Texas Woman’s Uni­ver­si­ty. She worked as a children’s librar­i­an at the Cor­pus Christi Pub­lic Libraries and at the Cor­pus Christi ISD before retir­ing. She worked as a vol­un­teer at the Astor Juda­ic Library of the Lawrence Fam­i­ly JCC in La Jol­la, CA. Sad­ly, Bar­bara passed away is 2012.

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