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Golden Dreydl,The [Hardcover]

Ellen Kushner

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Book Description

July 1 2007 Nun, Gimel, Hey, Shin
Nun, Gimel, Hey, Shin

Sara finds Chanukah celebrations boring. When her Tante Miriam arrives and gives her a Golden Dreydl, everything changes. The dreydl, an enchanted princess in disguise, takes Sara on a journey to a magical world.

When the princess is taken by the Demon King, who possesses the power of the Tree of Life, it is Sara who must use her wit to save the princess and return her to her parents — King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.

A delightful holiday tale that weaves together threads of Jewish folklore and tradition with fantasy and humor.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Charlesbridge Publishing; New edition (July 1 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580891357
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580891356
  • Product Dimensions: 22 x 16.5 x 1.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 318 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,020,418 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Booklist

Dreydls are boring for Sara; after all Hanukkah isn't even an important Jewish holiday. But at her family's celebration, something wonderful happens. Old Tante Miriam gives Sara an ancient golden dreydl that turns out to be a beautiful enchanted princess. To rescue the royal from the evil Demon King, Sara must travel through the TV into a magical world. The chatty storytelling is fast, furious, and sometimes funny, especially the riddles of the vicious king ("If you don't know the answers, we suck out your brains with a straw"), and scattered throughout are delicate black-and-white illustrations that capture the magical realism. Kids will enjoy the fantasy adventure, as well as the contemporary family standoffs; they'll also be interested in Tante Miriam's explanation of the dreydl's symbols. This will be fun for reading aloud. Rochman, Hazel

About the Author

Ellen Kushner is the host and writer of the national public radio series PRI's Sound & Spirit. She is the award-winning author of fantasy novels for teens and adults. Ellen lives in New York City.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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IT WAS THE HOLIDAY SEASON, but Sara was not happy. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Golden Dreydl Nov. 20 2007
By Jewish Book World Magazine - Published on
A fantasy for younger chapter-book readers, this takeoff of The Nutcracker is a Jewish-themed adventure into the magical world of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. Sara's mysterious Tante Miriam makes a surprise appearance at her family's Chanukah dinner. Miriam has unusual gifts for all the children, but offers a huge golden dreydl to Sara that disappoints her. After a tussle over the dreydl breaks the TV screen, Sara is held responsible, and the dreydl, who has taken her real form of an enchanted princess, guides Sara through the broken television set and into a world of fantasy.
The princess turns out to be the daughter of the king and queen and she is promptly kidnapped by a flying horde of demons and their king, Ashmedai (demon king of Talmudic legend and purported adversary of Solomon). A Fool comes to Sara's aid, listens to her story, and they find sufficient common bonds, including an affinity for solving riddles, to embark on a mission to rescue the princess/dreydl from the demons' clutches. After some rousing adventures, the rescuers succeed in entering the demon king's lair, and find the princess and many other captives spinning like dreydls, helpless to stop. The demons, too, are riddlers, and so it's a good thing that Sara and The Fool are talented puzzle-solvers. The conclusion is satisfying, as Sara returns home with lessons learned, the TV fixed, and the realization that boring old Chanukah parties can be significantly more fun. The author, an established award-winning fantasy writer for teens and adults, does an admirable job of combining Jewish folklore and holiday traditions with an appealing fantasy story for young readers. The delightful black and white line drawings that are sprinkled throughout the text provide further entry into the magical world that Kushner has created. A useful glossary of Jewish terms is included. For ages 8-10. Reviewed by Steve Silverman
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Children's Story for Hanukah! April 17 2013
By Emma - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Stolid story, deeply interesting take on Hanukah and Torah. Magical. I read it every year. I also love the CD with klezmer music.

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