Jewish Values: Best Hanukkah Ever, The

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32 p.
Trying to follow their rabbi’s advice about “the perfect gift”, the not-too-bright Knoodle family decides to have a Hanukkah gift exchange. However, instead of giving a gift the recipient would treasure, they each give one that they, themselves, want. So little Yekl gets an antique pickle barrel from Bubby Sadie, Papa Jack gets a fancy straw hat from Mama Pearl, Mama Pearl gets a guitar she can’t play from Papa Jack, sparse-haired Bubby gets a curling iron from teenage Shayna, who gets two tree frogs from Yekl. In dismay, they summon the rabbi to their house, who explains to the angry Knoodles that the perfect gift is one that “should be a treasure to who gets it, not to who gives it”. Enlightened by this rabbinical wisdom, the Knoodles trade presents, with each one getting exactly the one they want as well as “the best Hanukkah ever”. Avi Katz’s illustrations for this silly story are broadly humorous, reflecting its tone. While not as deliciously dumb as Harry Allard’s and James Marshall’s immortal Stupids, the clueless Knoodles will amuse children, once they figure out from the illustrations just who is who in the family. This would be a no-brainer were it not for a cover that obscures the heads of two family members and several other illustrations in which Bubby appears to be an old man. A slight but appealing story, with no content whatsoever about the holiday.
13: 978-0-7614-5355-0; 10: 0-7614-5355-5
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