The Hanukkah Mice

Overview

It’s the first night of Hanukkah, and the mouse family secretly looks on as Mr. Silman lights the first Hanukkah candle. Then they watch Rachel Silman open a gift from her family, a beautiful dollhouse with a wraparound porch and tiny lace curtains. Just the right size for us, whispers Mindy Mouse. While the Silmans are asleep, the mouse family explores the dollhouse. On each night of the holiday, they enjoy the small pieces of furniture and dishes of food that magically appear. Finally, on the eighth night of ...
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Overview

It’s the first night of Hanukkah, and the mouse family secretly looks on as Mr. Silman lights the first Hanukkah candle. Then they watch Rachel Silman open a gift from her family, a beautiful dollhouse with a wraparound porch and tiny lace curtains. Just the right size for us, whispers Mindy Mouse. While the Silmans are asleep, the mouse family explores the dollhouse. On each night of the holiday, they enjoy the small pieces of furniture and dishes of food that magically appear. Finally, on the eighth night of Hanukkah, a small miracle occurs, showcased nicely in Michelle Shapiro’s colorful gouache illustrations.
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Editorial Reviews

Horn Book Guide
Rachel's Hanukkah gift is a dollhouse perfectly proportioned for a family of curious mice. Gouache illustrations, which effectively use few colors, allow readers to share with the mice each addition to the dollhouse. While the mice wonder who is responsible for their Hanukkah festivities, readers will delightedly watch Rachel provide them with tiny latkes, dreidels, and even a miniature menorah.
The New York Times
On the first night of Hanukkah, a mouse family ventures from its mouse hole and up the basement stairs to watch the candles being lighted and Rachel opening her first gift, "an exquisitely carved dollhouse with a porch and white trim." The next nights bring new gifts to delight the mice - miniature chairs, a sofa, and a dining table and dishes that appear on the table bearing real, tiny latkes and applesauce. Rachel, it seems, has caught on, and so in the end the mouse family enjoys its own holiday feast.
Children's Literature - Ali Fell
A family of mice watches as Mr. Silman lights the first Hanukkah candle for his family. Rachel, the Silman family's daughter, unwraps a huge present. It is a doll house. While Rachel gleefully thanks her parents, the mice observe that the house is just their size. Hmmm! Each night throughout Hanukkah, Rachel receives a piece of furniture for the house. The mice enjoy each new treasure as it is placed in the house. The mice are even more surprised to find tiny latkes. Then dreidels. A tablecloth. Where are these presents coming from? On the last night of Hanukkah, Rachel receives a tiny menorah. "Perfect!" she says. That night, Papa mouse puts on his kippa, the mouse family lights their menorah, says prayers, and eats a holiday feast. As they again wonder about the source of all this goodness, the reader discovers the gift giver smiling from under her covers. This lovely story demonstrates that, though it is fun to receive, there is more joy in giving and that happiness comes from focusing one's life on something bigger than oneself. The story carries out the theme of Hanukkah: the Jews received a gift that lasted eight days and that was beyond their expectations; they were left in wonderment about its Source. So it is with the mice. The art work is charming. Reviewer: Ali Fell
School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 2

While a family of Big People enjoys a Hanukkah celebration with candle lighting and presents, a friendly mouse family shares in the fun by exploring the little girl's first gift, a dollhouse. On each subsequent night, something new is added to the little house by its owner, whose smiling, moon-shaped face can be seen peering through the windows at her houseguests. Tiny dishes are laden with latkes and applesauce, Hanukkah gelt is piled on the petite dresser, and on the eighth night a miniature menorah appears on the mouse family's table. The highlights of this book are the cheerful gouache illustrations featuring bold flat saturated colors and lots of open space, creating plenty of room for both families to celebrate the holiday. A pleasant choice for all collections.-Teri Markson, Los Angeles Public Library

Kirkus Reviews
A family of dressed-up mice (Papa and Mitchell both sport yarmulkes) make themselves at home in Rachel's Hanukkah gift-a delicate dollhouse. From the first night to the eighth, Rachel receives all the tiny necessities required to make it a Jewish home. Beyond the doll-size furniture, Rachel provides dreidels, gelt, a holiday meal complete with latkes and a miniature menorah with which the mice happily celebrate the traditional candle-lighting. Shapiro's childlike gouache paintings depict a canny Rachel and her secret gift-giving to make a home for the small, new residents of her dollhouse. However, while the basic concept of the holiday is brought out through gift-giving and sharing, the use of cutesy mice to illustrate it makes it more than a bit precious. A mediocre addition for the younger set. (Picture book. 3-5)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761459880
  • Publisher: Amazon Childrens Publishing
  • Publication date: 10/1/2012
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

The late Steven Kroll wrote more than ninety children’s books, including picture books, non-fiction titles, and novels.
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