Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Winter Candle

Winter Candle

Jeron Ashford
Illustrator:  Stacey Schuett 
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Creston, 2014   ISBN: 978-1939547101

It is Thanksgiving and Nana Clover is getting everything ready for the coming feast. The turkey is in the oven, the potatoes are peeled and ready to cook, the napkins are folded “just so,” but Nana has forgotten to get candles. She goes to ask Trev, the super in her building, if he has any candles. All he has is a rather lumpy used candle, but as he says “It’s not pretty. But it’ll burn.” Sure enough, when it is lit the candle burns brightly on the festive table.

   Two weeks later the Danzinger children find out that Mom has not bought a new Havdalah candle. How can they end the Sabbath properly without a Havdalah candle? Grandpa tells Avi to go and ask Nana Clover if she has a candle that they can use. Nana gladly gives them the “bumpy, dropping” candle that she used on Thanksgiving. The candle does not look like much, but when it is lit, it burns brighter than any other Havdalah candle they have had.

   Though the candle has saved two celebrations this winter already, its work is not done. There are other families that are going to need its light to brighten their special days, and one snowy night the candle will bring everyone in the building together for a special homecoming.

   In this special picture book the message of sharing and togetherness burns as brightly through the narrative as the candle in the story does. Children will see how people of different backgrounds help one another out and share what they have.