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Jeremy’s Dreidel by Ellie Gellman

cover for Jeremy's DreidelIt is Hanukkah season and the Jewish Community Center is hosting a dreidel workshop and Hanukkah celebration to mark the occasion. All the children have grand ideas for making their dreidels unique including Miriam’s “green” dreidel made from recycled materials, Jacob’s singing one made from an old music box, David’s bouncing dreidel made from a rubber ball, and Jeremy’s Braille dreidel. Jeremy’s choice of material, clay, initially does not seem as interesting as that of the other children. However, as he begins to model his clay dreidel with mysterious dots, the other children in the workshop soon recognize its uniqueness and, in the process, they learn a lesson about Braille, blindness, and what it means to have a parent who is blind.

Jeremy is a thoughtful boy who consistently makes efforts to include his father in every aspect of his daily life (sometimes with technological accommodations like a GPS and a laptop). To mark the conclusion of the workshop, instead of simply displaying the dreidels in glass boxes during the Hanukkah celebration (especially his Braille dreidel which was designed to be touched and read by his blind father), Jeremy suggests that there should be a more inclusive way of presenting the winning dreidels.

Ellie Gellman’s Jeremy’s Dreidel is a heartwarming, fictional storybook, but it contains a fact-filled text complete with a glossary about Braille, the Hebrew letters written on traditional Jewish dreidels, instructions for the Hanukkah Dreidel game, and dreidel making craft instructions to try at home.

Recommendation: Highly Recommended; Ages 5+

Reviewer: LaTonya Jackson

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