cover image Simon and the Bear: A Hanukkah Tale

Simon and the Bear: A Hanukkah Tale

Eric Kimmel, illus. by Matthew Trueman. Disney-Hyperion, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4231-4355-0

For Simon, a young Jewish immigrant headed for America, life is one miracle after another—nine, in fact, which correspond to the total number of candles on a fully lit menorah. The mounting improbabilities—which include Simon surviving on an iceberg after a Titanic-like sinking, thanks to the help of a latke-loving polar bear that feeds him sushi-style salmon (“A little salty. Like lox,” Simon notes)—are handled with matter-of-fact aplomb by Kimmel (Hanukkah Bear). But Trueman’s (One Beetle Too Many) gorgeous scenes of arctic nights are the book’s high point, rendered in deep blues, silvery white, and the golden glow of candles. An author’s note about the holiday concludes this engaging and visually arresting book. Ages 3–5. [em]Author’s agent: Jennifer Laughran, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. Illustrator’s agent: Michèle Manasse, New Work Illustration. (Sept.) [/em]