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The Dreidel That Wouldn’t Spin: A Toyshop Tale of Hanukkah
“The Dreidel That Wouldn’t Spin: A Toyshop Tale of Hanukkah” — details, sample pages, more
Dreidel That Wouldn’t Spin, The: A Toyshop Tale of Hanukkah
Dreidel That Wouldn’t Spin, The: A Toyshop Tale of Hanukkah
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Author(s): 
Subjects(s): 
Children’s Books
Judaism

Price:  $16.95

ISBN:  978-1-937786-28-1
Book Size:  8" × 10"
# of Pages:  32
Language:  English



Description of “The Dreidel That Wouldn’t Spin”
“This dreidel doesn’t work!” the father had cried. “What do you mean? How can a dreidel not work?” the shopkeeper asked. It was certainly the most beautiful spinning top the shopkeeper had ever seen, with magical golden letters on its sides. But it just would not spin for two spoiled children who insisted on owning it! Later, the shopkeeper decides to try it one last time: would it spin for another child, one who carried the true spirit of Hanukkah in his heart?

In this beautiful holiday story by award-winning author Martha Simpson, and brought to life by the imaginative illustrations of award-winning illustrator D. Yael Bernhard, the happiness and joy of the Hanukkah miracle will warm the heart of young and old alike with its simple message: wonders still occur for those who are ready for them. Included is a useful appendix that explains Hanukkah, and an explanation on how to play the dreidel game.

AWARDS
  • Award-Winning Finalist in the “Children's Religious” category of the 2015 USA “Best Book” Awards
  • Finalist in the 2015 Benjamin Frankin Awards in the category “Interior Design (3 or more Color; Children’s/Young Adult)”
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Details on “The Dreidel That Wouldn’t Spin”

“This dreidel doesn’t work!” the father had cried. “What do you mean? How can a dreidel not work?” the shopkeeper asked. It was certainly the most beautiful spinning top the shopkeeper had ever seen, with magical golden letters on its sides. But it just would not spin for two spoiled children who insisted on owning it! Later, the shopkeeper decides to try it one last time: would it spin for another child, one who carried the true spirit of Hanukkah in his heart?

In this beautiful holiday story by award-winning author Martha Simpson, and brought to life by the imaginative illustrations of award-winning illustrator D. Yael Bernhard, the happiness and joy of the Hanukkah miracle will warm the heart of young and old alike with its simple message: wonders still occur for those who are ready for them. Included is a useful appendix that explains Hanukkah, and an explanation on how to play the dreidel game.

AWARDS
  • Award-Winning Finalist in the “Children's Religious” category of the 2015 USA “Best Book” Awards
  • Finalist in the 2015 Benjamin Frankin Awards in the category “Interior Design (3 or more Color; Children’s/Young Adult)”


The Author and Illustrator of this Book

Martha Seif Simpson

Martha Seif Simpson is an author and children’s librarian. Her first children’s book, What NOT to Give Your Mom on Mother's Day, was released in 2013. Ms. Simpson’s first book with World Wisdom (through our children’s books imprint, Wisdom Tales Press) is The Dreidel That Wouldn’t Spin: A Toyshop Tale of Hanukkah. The story is a charming account of a toyshop owner who witnesses a bit of a miracle in his store and through it comes to appreciate the true meaning of Hanukkah. The story is set in an Eastern European city in the early twentieth century, and features beautiful images of that time and place by award-winning illustrator Durga Yael Bernhard.

Martha Seif Simpson is also very active in her professional work as a librarian, including her work on such books as Bringing Classes into the Public Library: A Handbook for Librarians (along with Lucretia I. Duwel) and Summer Reading Clubs: Complete Plans for 50 Theme-Based Library Programs. There is much more information about Martha on the Martha Seif Simpson author page on the Wisdom Tales Press website.

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Durga Yael Bernhard

D. Yael Bernhard is a busy writer and illustrator of books on many subjects, primarily for children. She has illustrated the Wisdom Tales book Never Say a Mean Word Again, which was written by Jacqueline Jules. Another book featuring Ms. Bernhard’s sense of color, design, fun, and different places and times is The Dreidel That Wouldn’t Spin: A Toyshop Tale of Hanukkah, written by Martha Seif Simpson. D. Yael Bernhard is now working on another book for Wisdom Tales that she has also written (in verse) as well as illustrated. It is about the sense of wonder and adventure a child would experience climbing some exotic trees of the world.

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Reviews of “The Dreidel That Wouldn’t Spin”

“A child’s innocent appreciation for life’s small wonders transforms a shopkeeper’s business attitude during the busy selling season of Hanukkah. The owner of the small toyshop is immediately intrigued with the potential of a large profit if he can sell a peddler’s oversized, elaborately painted dreidel … [Author Martha] Simpson uses familiar European folk-tale motifs, which [illustrator] Bernhard matches with [gouache] paintings of an Old World setting; both illustrate how humility outshines greed and arrogance. Backmatter [i.e. the Appendix] explains the real miracle of Hanukkah and the holiday’s significance as well as rules for playing dreidel. A sweet original tale with a timeless, though not holiday-specific message (Pictur e book. 5-7)”
Kirkus Reviews



“K-Gr 2– In this gentle parable, a peddler gives a splendorous Hanukkah dreidel to the greedy owner of a toy shop with the admonishment that ‘...the miracle of Hanukkah cannot be bought’… Folkloric watercolor illustrations in a pale palette are appropriately soft in tone while images of the toys offering their own expressive impressions of the goings-on inject a bit of humor. A lovely choice for those wishing to circumvent the more commercial aspects of the holiday.”
School Library Journal, from a review by Teri Markson



“This tale about a striking jeweled dreidel that will not spin for selfish, materialistic children, but does so for the one child who appreciates it, is a charming story that could grow into a family favorite. The typeface is large and appealing to a beginning chapter-book reader, and the colorful illustrations convey an Eastern European sense of time and place — including peddlers and storekeepers (all wearing kippot or hats) and horse-drawn carriages with small-town appeal . . . The shopkeeper comes to realize that the miracle of Chanukah cannot be bought as the tale provides a noteworthy conclusion: Wonders still happen for those who can appreciate them.”
—from a review in the Jewish Journal



“The colorful drawings by Bernhard (Never Say a Mean Word Again) evoke Judaism’s Eastern European past…”
Publishers Weekly



“What an interesting Hanukkah story which stresses the real meaning of the holiday. This is not a story that explains what Hanukkah is but rather what it means by using a dreidel and a simple children’s Hanukkah game. Bright pictures and simple wording make this story easy to read and enjoy, even if you don’t celebrate Hanukkah! Better yet, at the back of the book is an explanation of what Hanukkah celebrates and how to play the dreidel game. This is a story the whole family can enjoy and it leaves plenty of room to discuss why the dreidel wouldn’t spin for all of the children.”
—from a “Top Pick” review on the website nightowlreviews.com



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