Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

When Mindy Saved Hanukkah

When Mindy Saved Hanukkah

Eric Kimmel
Illustrator:   Barbara McClintock 
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 8
Scholastic, 2005   ISBN: 978-0439769907

It is the day before Hanukkah and Mindy and her family are waiting for Papa to bring home a Hanukkah candle. He is late and everyone is beginning to get worried. They soon find out that they had good reason to worry, for when Papa finally does get home he tells them that he was attacked by a cat in the synagogue. The cat was so fierce that Papa - who like the rest of his family is only a few inches tall - barely got away with his life.

The family discusses what they should do now. If someone does not go to the synagogue to get a candle then Hanukkah will just not be Hanukkah. In the end Mindy manages to persuade her family to let her go. With their good wishes and her father?s best climbing hook, Mindy goes into the synagogue.

After an exhausting journey Mindy finds the candle her father told her about and begins the long trip home with her prize. And then the cat sneaks up on Mindy and attacks! Now Mindy is trapped and she wonders if she will ever be able to get home. Just then an unexpected person arrives on the scene to rescue her. Dare Mindy hope that she might be able to get the precious candle home to her family after all?

Children will quickly fall in love with this tiny and courageous Jewish family who live behind the walls of a Jewish Synagogue and who risk life and limb so that they can enjoy Hanukkah according to their traditions. Just like their ancestors, Mindy and her rescuer face their fears and use their heads, thus being able to save the holiday for many little families.