cover image Just Enough Is Plenty: A Hanukkah Tale

Just Enough Is Plenty: A Hanukkah Tale

Barbara Diamond Goldin. Viking Children's Books, $12.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-670-81852-5

Malka and her brother Zalman are worried. Money is tight. Mama has invited fewer people to celebrate Hanukkah with them, while Papa has implied that there might not be even a kopek for Hanukkah money. As they light the first candle that night, there are barely enough latkes to go around. Then a mysterious peddler arrives at their door. Mama says, ``We can stretch the `just enough.' . . . We are poor, but not so poor.'' The family and their guest feast and play dreidel; they sing and dance. The old man reaches into his pack and brings out a book full of stories about ``Elijah the Prophet who would come back to earth to help someone who was poor but kindhearted.'' The next morning the peddler is gone but in his place is a pack. His book is on top; underneath are beautiful silks for Papa and the family. Goldin's tale and Chwast's vibrant, primitive paintings are masterfully combined. Each page reflects the vitality of an Eastern European shtetl while communicating the loving spirit implicit in the tales of Sholom Aleichem or the Baal Shem Tov. Ages 3-8. (Oct.)