cover image The Mexican Dreidel

The Mexican Dreidel

Linda Elovitz Marshall and Ilan Stavans, illus. by Maria Mola. Kar-Ben, $19.99 (24p) ISBN 978-1-7284-4928-9

Visiting his grandmother, Bobe, solo for Janucá, Danielito notices the other kids in the neighborhood playing with trompos—traditional Mexican tops. Bobe only has a dreidel on hand, but after Danielito joins the other kids and gives it an initial spin, the dreidel becomes a perpetual motion machine that revives and rallies the fallen trompos. With the rosy-cheeked children in merry pursuit, the dreidel leads the trompos “through the park, around the neighborhood, in and out of stores, under pushcarts filled with food, and across blankets spread with wares,” Marshall and Stavans write, incorporating italicized Spanish phrases. The adventure ends back at Bobe’s house, where Daniel introduces the children to buñuelos, latkes, and a dreidel-shaped piñata. Mola’s chalky, bright-hued images, which portray characters with brown skin, evoke a sunny, cozy town and the fun of sharing with “nuevos amigos.” An afterword provides details on Mexico’s Jewish community. Ages 4–8. (Oct.)