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Runaway Dreidel!

3.67  ·  Rating Details  ·  46 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
A fantastical Chanukah journey

"'Twas the first night of Chanukah and on the fifth floor,
There was holiday hustling and bustling galore . . .
Grandma was slicing up two chocolate babkas,
Grandpa was grating potatoes for latkes."

On the first night of Chanukah a lucky boy receives a shiny new dreidel, but once it starts spinning it just won’t stop! With a mind of its own, the d
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 11th 2002 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) (first published 2002)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-29 of 76)
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Cassandra Neal
Oct 29, 2014 Cassandra Neal rated it really liked it
I really liked that this book incorporated traditional Jewish ideals/symbols and also presented it in a format that most American children have been exposed to. I think this makes the story more relatable for all children in the classroom as it has a common theme they are familiar with while integrating new ideas. I would use this for a Christmas aronud the world theme or simply to expose children to cultures and religions that live within their community that they may not have much knowledge of ...more
Ala Abdallah
Apr 16, 2012 Ala Abdallah rated it it was amazing
Shelves: text-set
This book was enjoyable to read. It starts off with a young boy who spins his dreidel while his family prepares for Chanukah. As he reaches to stop it from spinning it goes out of control. It spins out of the apartment, out of the building and on to the street. Soon, he and all of his family and neighbors are chasing after it until it eventually gets to the beach and flies up into the sky. Many Jewish words were used such as "latke" a meal and "kosher" meaning clean and without dairy or pork. It ...more
Dec 08, 2015 Devon rated it really liked it
I read this one at story time and the kids really enjoyed it. It has great illustrations and is a fun twist on "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" from a young Jewish boy's perspective.
A cute story about a runaway top. The illustrations are unique and it is nice to see references to Jewish culture beyond the events of Hanukkah in the story.
Evie Sweet
Sep 24, 2015 Evie Sweet rated it really liked it
First library book from the Anona Elementary Library.
Oct 30, 2015 Dawn rated it it was amazing
Mar 03, 2016 SB rated it it was amazing
Fun! "The Night Before Christmas," but Hanukah style!
Dec 08, 2012 Matthew rated it really liked it
Shelves: holiday-books
This book was light and fun and the kids loved it. The boy chases the dreidel that he spun a little too well all through town, into the countryside, and across the sea before he eventually has to give up the chase as it crosses the horizon into outer space and shines in the night sky like a star. I really liked that it was told with a simple rhyming text that was easy for the kids to understand.
Apr 04, 2008 Steph rated it liked it
when i was around five, my best friend got me a personalized version of this book that substituted all of the character's in the book with the names of my friends and family. needless to say this was my favorite book for a long long time because it felt like a magical adventure story written about me!
Nancy Schroeder
A little boy's new dreidel slips out of his hands and leads him on a chase through town, into the country, out to the ocean, and into the sky. He describes the adventure (and many other Chanukah traditions) in a poem.
Funny and rhyming and awesome illustrations!
Nov 23, 2012 Kim rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Charming Chanukah story about a dreidel that spins out of control and leads a family on a merry chase. Rhyming text and lovely, textured illustrations.

themes: dreidel, Chanukah, family
Dec 19, 2012 Elyce rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Great story for children who have some knowledge on Chanukah. Would need a little bit of background information for beginners; some of the terms are matched with images, but might need explaining.
Shanshad Whelan
Eh, I'm not sure what to think about this. . . the artwork is fun and the story isn't bad, but why make the text mimic the form of The Night Before Christmas?
Mar 05, 2008 Terry rated it liked it
Shelves: pb-seasonal
This is a fun story, that is quite descriptive poetically and visually.
Horace Mann Family Reading Challenge
Wonderful to share books for all holidays. Rm 213
Dec 02, 2012 Alicia rated it liked it
Cute story overall.
Matthew marked it as to-read
May 11, 2016
DickensAnnex rated it really liked it
May 05, 2016
Nopie marked it as to-read
Apr 22, 2016
Viji marked it as to-read
Mar 27, 2016
Lynne Marie
Lynne Marie rated it it was ok
Feb 18, 2016
Sasha added it
Jan 17, 2016
Gabe rated it liked it
Dec 30, 2015
Sara rated it really liked it
Feb 03, 2016
Monica rated it liked it
Dec 21, 2015
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Lesléa Newman (born 1955, Brooklyn, NY) is the author of over 50 books including Heather Has Two Mommies, A Letter To Harvey Milk, Writing From The Heart, In Every Laugh a Tear, The Femme Mystique, Still Life with Buddy, Fat Chance and Out of the Closet and Nothing to Wear.
She has received many literary awards including Poetry Fellowships from the Massachusetts Artists Fellowship Foundation and th
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