All-Of-A-Kind Family Hanukkah

by Emily Jenkins and Paul O. Zelinsky

Gertie, 4, is youngest of five sisters and eager to be part of her family’s... read more

Gertie, 4, is youngest of five sisters and eager to be part of her family’s Hanukkah preparations. But when Mama says Gertie is too little to peel or grate potatoes or fry the latkes in schmaltz, a spectacular tantrum is the result, and Gertie is sent to her room to wait until supper. Feeling sorry for herself, and certain her family must miss her, Gertie waits, and waits, for Mama to return. It’s Papa who finally appears, drawing Gertie out of her mood and back into the fold of her family. In fact, Gertie gets to help light the first Hanukkah candle, and Mama serves the first latke to her. This original story is based on the characters originated by Sydney Taylor in her “All-of-a-Kind Family” stories about a Jewish family on the Lower East Side of New York city in 1912. Gertie’s frustration is relatable to every young child, while the love, warmth and good humor in her family provide a deep sense of security. Cozy yet spirited illustrations add to the abundant appeal of the story, while endnotes provide additional context for the history of the characters, the setting, and the Hanukkah celebration. (Ages 4–8)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2019

show less