BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Bea Reviews The Dreidel That Wouldn't Spin by Martha Seif Simpson, Illustrated by Durga Yael Bernhard

Publisher: Wisdom Tales 
Format Read: eGalley
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: October 1, 2014
Challenge: NetGalley and Edelweiss Reading Challenge
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | OmniLit* | Barnes & Noble |
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Blurb from goodreads:

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." 

Bea's Thoughts:

Lovely illustrations and colors add to this story about kindness and generosity. A peddler sells an exquisite dreidel to a shopkeeper but warns him that the miracle of Hanukkah cannot be bought. Over and over, the shopkeeper sells the dreidel but it is returned every time when the children can't make it spin. Confused and discouraged, he stops selling it. But one more family comes along. Will it spin for them? Why didn't it spin for the others? How can a dreidel not spin? 

"The Dreidel That Wouldn't Spin" is a lovely tale of generosity, of hope, of compassion, and of expectations. It didn't grab me right off  but I did enjoy it,particularly the artwork which is soft but not cloying and sweetly emotive. The lessons imparted by the author are subtle enough that young readers won't pick up on them immediately but will absorb them gradually with re-reading. At the back are notes on the history of Hanukkah and dreidels and how to play the game. It's a sweet story, a little slow at times, but a good book whether learning about Hanukkah or as a gift for a young child celebrating Hanukkah or for anyone wanting a sweet story.


  1. The cover is wonderful; I love the art style. And it's good to see books on Hanukkah being reviewed. I remember playing dreidel with a friend when I was little, though I didn't understand the tradition behind the game nor the significance of Hanukkah at the time.

    1. I knew very little about Hannukah until I started teaching toddlers and preschool. Sadly, my current school ignores all holidays so I won't be able to use this there.

  2. This sounds lovely and I like the message. That cover is lovely and I am sure I would love the illustrations.

    1. The illustrations are lovely, you would like them. :)


Thanks for taking the time to comment. I enjoy hearing from my readers. Let's talk!