Eric Kimmell is very good at re-telling old tales. If you are looking for a good Hanukkah story to share, The Magic Dreidels is a retelling of an old tale called The Tablecloth, The Donkey, and the Stick. This book will appeal to older pre-schoolers, ages 5 and up. The illustrations have a cozy, wintery feel with rich colors.
Hanukkah is coming and Jacob has nothing to do but play with his dreidel. His mother is very busy getting ready for Hanukkah and sends him off to the well for water. He spins his dreidel at the well and drops it! “The dreidel spun across the mossy stones and plopped into the well.” A peaceful goblin lives there and offers to look for the dreidel. Instead of Jacob’s dreidel, he offers him three magic dreidels– one spins latkes! Jacob rushes home with the magic dreidels but is intercepted by Fruma Sarah, who dupes him out of his dreidels. One of the driedels does not spin Hanukkah Gelt – but spins thousands of fleas that hop and bite Fruma Sarah – she yells: “I’ll give back the dreidels I stole. Just make those fleas stop biting!”
Finally, when the Hanukkah candles were lit at his home, Jacob took out the dreidels and spun them. The first one spun out potato latkes and the second one Hanukkah Gold. Jacob’s family and neighbors ate the latkes and stuffed their pockets with silver coins and “Everyone had a happy Hanukkah that night”. Fruma Sarah was invited to share.
Check the WRL catalog for The Magic Dreidels: A Hanukkah Story