cover image While the Candles Burn: Eight Stories for Hanukkah

While the Candles Burn: Eight Stories for Hanukkah

Barbara Diamond Goldin. Viking Children's Books, $16.99 (64pp) ISBN 978-0-670-85875-0

With its informative introduction and imaginative selection of little-known folktales and a few of Goldin's (Cakes and Miracles) original stories, this generously illustrated book is the likeliest gift book of the season's Hanukkah offerings. Goldin explores the themes of Hanukkah (e.g., miracles; the courage demanded by faith) with eight entries, one for each night of the holiday. The most shining aspect of her work is its breadth: her sources include Jewish folklore from Afghanistan, a story by I.L. Peretz, the Talmud and the real-life experiences of Holocaust survivors and of students of an Israeli school for Arabs and Jews. Greenstein (Mrs. Rose's Garden) gracefully straddles the range of settings with her sunny monocuts: the medium itself evokes tradition, but the artist's lines and use of color are contemporary and fresh. All ages. (Oct.)