cover image ONE CANDLE


Eve Bunting, , illus. by K. Wendy Popp. . HarperCollins/Cotler, $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-06-028115-1

On the first night of Hanukkah every year, Grandma recites her experience as a 12-year-old in Buchenwald, when she risked her life to steal a potato and margarine to improvise one Hanukkah light. The text feels somewhat forced until Grandma starts speaking, and then the audience will be gripped. Popp's (Sister Anne's Hands) uncannily lifelike, sympathetic group portraits, bathed in soft lighting that visually bridges them to sepia-toned flashback scenes of Buchenwald, evoke the abiding tenderness of family rituals respectfully observed. It would be a pity for the mistake on the cover (the candle is on the wrong side of the menorah here and several times in the interior art) to deter readers from the unusually moving story within. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)