Dad of Divas' Reviews: Book Review - I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Dreidel

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Book Review - I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Dreidel

I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Dreidel
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About the Book
You've never seen Hanukkah or the "I Know an Old Lady" story like this before . . . through hilarious takes on the world's greatest works of art!

A family drives through the snow to visit their beloved bubbe, who spreads out a Chanukah supper for everyone to enjoy. But one dish goes a little wrong:

"I know an old lady who swallowed a dreidel
A Chanukah dreidel she thought was a bagel...
Perhaps it's fatal."

Indeed, Bubbe's first bite leads to an insatiable taste for oil, latkes, applesauce, gelt -- even menorahs! But as the family tries to distract her from her gluttony, the items she devours grow ever larger. Will they be able to reconnect with her and bring her home for the last night of Chanukah -- or will her feasting in fact be fatal?

Beyond the joy of a Jewish take on this most American of folk songs, the illustrations here offer hilarious parodies of great works of art by da Vinci, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Hopper, Rockwell, Matisse, Picasso, and other masters--adding a whole new layer of humor and culture to the familiar tune. You'll love this old lady, and want to visit her every Chanukah for years to come.

My Take on the Book
Caryn Yacowitz has written a funny rhyming story that adults and children will enjoy reading. The terms in the story are familiar to those used in the celebration of Chanukah a Jewish day of celebration. I was impressed how she wove the story beginning with the bagel and dreidel to the latkes, menorah, and even the menorah candles.

David Slonim's illustrations fit the text beautifully, At the end of the book you will notice how David used famous paintings as inspiration for the story's illustrations. Very clever I think.

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