|Queen of the Hanukkah dosas|
Author: Ehrenberg, Pamela
A boy is worried that his little sister's climbing will spoil the first night of Hanukkah, when his family combines his father's Jewish traditions with his mother's East Indian cooking.
Kirkus Reviews (09/01/17)
School Library Journal (10/01/17)
The Hornbook (00/11/17)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 09/15/2017 Hanukkah is approaching, and our biracial, unnamed narrator and his family are preparing to make Indian dosas for the celebration. There’s just one problem: his little sister, Sadie, won’t stop climbing everything! At Little India Market, Sadie climbs up a pyramid of coconut milk cans and won’t come down. But they’ve been learning “The Dreidel Song” in Hebrew school, and her brother changes the words, singing, “I had a little dosa; I made it out of dal,” and Sadie is so delighted, she climbs down. This variation of the song works wonders, and the boy uses it every time they need to calm Sadie down. But when the first night of Hanukkah arrives and the family accidentally gets locked outside the house, Sadie’s climbing skills may be just the thing to save the day. Playful cartoonlike illustrations capture the bustle of this half Jewish, half Indian family as they prepare for their holidays. It’s a nice portrayal of a blended family; that the focus remains on a very natural sibling relationship is even better. - Copyright 2017 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 10/01/2017 PreS-Gr 1—Cultures merge in this holiday story about a boy with an Indian mother, a Jewish father, and a mischievous little sister named Sadie. Instead of traditional potato pancakes, this family celebrates Hanukkah by making dosas, a fried Indian pancake of rice and beans. From buying ingredients at the Indian market, to grinding the dal and rice and frying the batter in coconut oil, the process feels both different and familiar, and creates an opportunity for the author to explore the mingling of traditions. Unfortunately, the first-person narrative is bogged down by a contrived plot focusing on Sadie's penchant for climbing on things and her brother's random discovery that he can make her get down by singing a modified version of "I had a little dreidel," which comes in handy when the family gets locked out of the house during their Hanukkah party. The colorful illustrations are festive and bright, including wonderful endpapers that highlight common ingredients used in Indian food, yet the visual appeal of this book does not compensate for the weakness of the text. Furthermore, references to the holiday itself at times seem offhanded: "Just like the Maccabees, my mom rubbed oil in a pan called a tawa, where we cook the dosas." VERDICT An additional selection for large holiday collections.—Teri Markson, Los Angeles Public Library - Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.