Magic Dreidels ( The ) A Hanukkah Story

the magic dreidels by eric kimmel

While attempting to retrieve his new dreidel from the well, Jacob meets a goblin who gives him two magic dreidels in its place, but when Jacob is tricked by Fruma Sarah and loses both of them to her, he decides to return to the goblin for help in getting them back.---from the publisher

32 pages                              978-0823412563                                          Ages 4-8

Keywords:  Hanukkah, Hanukkah story, dreidels, magic, magical creatures, Jewish fiction, 4 year old, 5 year old, 6 year old, 7 year old, 8 year old, diversity, diverse books, holidays


Jacob is busy playing with his little brass dreidel (four-sided top). His mother sends him to fetch water. He accidentally drops his dreidel in the well. A friendly goblin who lives in the well gives him a dreidel to replace the one he lost, but this one is magic and creates latkes (potato pancakes) with sour cream and applesauce.

One the way home he is stopped by his nosy neighbor, Fruma Sarah who tricks him into giving her his magic dreidel and replaces it with a nonmagical one. Jacob gets the goblin to give him another magic dreidel, one which brings forth silver shekels (coins)but once again his neighbor tricks him into giving her the magic dreidel. A third time he visits the forbearing goblin who gives him a dreidel that causes Fruma Sarah to regret her actions and give back the magic dreidels.

The idea of a dreidel giving an unlimited supply of delicious food and silver coins is sure to delight children. The villain gets her comeuppance but not too bad. The neighbors (even Frum Sarah) get to enjoy the latkes and shekels.

Krenina’s illustrations show good facial expressions, and her goblin is adorable. The pictures are cheery with a color palette featuring a lot of bright blues and golds which give it a good Hanukkah feel.

Recommended by: Janice Davies, School Librarian (retired), Virginia USA

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