Inspired by Sydney Taylor’s One-of-a-Kind Book
All-of-a-Kind Family Hanukkah By Emily Jenkins. Illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky. (Random House Children’s Books, 40 pp. $17.99)
All of-a-Kind Family Hanukkah is a one-of-a-kind book, capturing all the delights of Sydney Taylor’s classic story of five spirited sisters, “all girls—all of a kind.” In Jenkin’s new adaptation, it is 1912 and the family is preparing to celebrate the Festival of Lights in their tenement apartment on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The neighborhood throbs with excitement. There are menorahs in the windows and snowflakes are falling. In their cozy kitchen, four of the girls slice onions and grate potatoes. Soon the aroma of Mama’s “once-a-year latkes, rich and crispy” fills the room. Only 4-year-old Gertie is angry because she’s too young to help. But all ends well when Gertie is permitted to light a candle on the first day of Hanukkah, “for the first time.” This appealing picture book is brought to life by Zelinsky’s warm-hued and roughly textured drawings. This simple tale is a good introduction to Taylor’s remarkable series. Ages 3 to 7.