The Littlest Candle 

A Hanukkah Story


Rabbis Kerry and Jessie Olitzhy   Illustrated by Jen Kostman
2020
ISBN:  978-0-9988527-5-1
Kalanist Books
32 pages

Happy Hanukkah everyone even if a bit early. Rabbis Kerry and Jessie Olitzhy has written a children’s picture book that illustrates Hanukkah in words as well as pictures. A New Perspective on the Ancient Tradition of Hanukkah. It shows and tells us the meaning of this Jewish holiday.  This is a book for all religions to have a chance to read and share.  This is the story that is told by the menorah candles that live in a kitchen drawer.  They are looking forward to the big day and they are wondering who will be the first candle lit.   The main character is the smallest candle. It goes by the name of Little Flicker and this little candle who is quiet listens to all that goes on in the kitchen drawer.

Hanukkah    Kerry and Jessie Olitzhy have written this story to share thoughts that readers can see and learn what this holiday means through the eyes of these special candles.  During the story they describe what each of the various candles means like the ones for Shabbot.  My favorite was the last pages that shared knowledge in a brief history section. Also with a few prayers in Hebrew translated in English.  On the last picture page the family was enjoying the celebration and it showed some toys and some of there delicious foods that are eaten at this time of year.  The illustrations were drawn by Jen Kostman that were drawn for the enjoyment of children and adults of all ages.  They were well drawn using primary and secondary colors and gave each of the characters (candles and people) a certain personality.  All the pictures were very good. My favorite would be the one at the end of the book when the family were all enjoying all the festivities of the Hanukkah.

(Teachers and home school parents could use this book to introduce a social living lesson on this holiday and other cultures.)

 

 



Summary

A new perspective on an ancient tradition, this picture book introduces kids to Little Flicker, the smallest Hanukkah candle. As all the candles vie to be the first lit, the wisest of them, Waxy, tells the history of Hanukkah and the significance of each candle in the menorah. However, Little Flicker cares more about supporting his friends than being the first chosen. Because of this selflessness and compassion, Waxy gives Little Flicker the important task and honor of being his helper – the Shamash — which lights all the other candles and takes the highest and central place on the menorah.

  Little Flicker is always cheering his friends on with words of encouragement and support. But as the smallest candle in the box, why should he be chosen to be the shamash in the Hanukkah menorah? Isn’t the job of lighting all the others candles too big for him? As it turns out, it’s the size of your heart that matters, and in that department, Little Flicker is huge!

This book’s bright and quirky illustrations make it easy to imagine the possibility of a world where candles walk, talk, dance, and sing. Kids will love exploring the details of Little Flicker’s life inside his cozy drawer.

 


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