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Moishe's Miracle: A Hanukkah Story Paperback – October 13, 2005


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Product Details

  • Grade Level: Preschool - 7
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books; 1st Chronicle Books Ed edition (October 13, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811852342
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811852340
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 0.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #318,407 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

On the night before Hanukkah, in the poor village of Wishniak, milkman Moishe's sharp-tongued wife, Baila, scolds him for being too generous with their hungry neighbors. Now they have no money to buy eggs and flour to make the traditional Hanukkah latkes. Moishe escapes to the cowshed to sleep in peace. When he awakens, he finds that his cows can speak to him: "MOO-oishe! MOO-oishe!" They inform him that he has been given a magical gift, a pan that, when set upon the fire totally empty, will produce as many latkes as he wishes. The gift comes with a warning, though. Only Moishe must use it. But what harm could it really do if Baila uses it just one time?

Laura Krauss Melmed and David Slonim create a wholly original Jewish folktale that celebrates generosity, the rebirth of a soul, and delicious potato latkes. Slonim's marvelous paintings seem candle-lit, with cozy golden oranges and shadowy blues. If we didn't know better, we'd believe this was a classic traditional Hanukkah tale. No matter. Given time, it may turn out to be just that! (Ages 5 to 10) --Emilie Coulter --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Ages 5-8. Kindness is rewarded and selfishness is punished in this original Hanukkah story that has the sound and feel of a traditional folktale. Baila insists her husband Moishe's generosity has left them without money to buy flour for latkes. But others are grateful for his kindness. In fact, he is mysteriously rewarded with a magical pan that makes plenty of pancakes for all. When Baila tries to use the pan for more selfish reasons, demons leap from the skillet, wreaking havoc until Moishe and the rabbi (who was coming for dinner) arrive and scare the demons away. Children will feel comfortable with the stock elements of the story: the shrewish wife, the gentle husband, and the grand comeuppance, but it's the pictures more than the quirky story (there's an odd talking cow) that will grab attention. Their rich golds and browns evoke the bubbling goodness of the holiday's fried pancakes. An author's note gives the barest of details about the celebration. Stephanie Zvirin
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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The illustrations are amazing.
"moosechicken"
On a more analytical note, it is a great morality tale with an emphasis on the value of generosity.
songlover1
Although this is a Hanukkah story it's message of generosity can be embraced by everyone.
Marcia Murphy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Alyssa A. Lappen TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 10, 2002
Format: Hardcover
In the poor village of Wishniak lived a milkman named Moishe and his wife Baila. He owned only two cows, and earned a meager living but was nevertheless always willing to help others. His wife, on the other hand, had the sharpest tongue in Wishniak.

In early winter one year, when "the wind prowled the icy lanes of the village like a starving jackal," many villagers hungered--including the widow Malka and her ailing son Shmuel, Heshy Fenster and his 13 children and the housebound Bubby (grandmother) Rifka and her cat. The kind and ever-generous Moishe left "an extra quart of milk here, a pint of thick cream there."

The night before Hanukkah, Baila found her money box empty, and blamed her inability to buy eggs, flour and oil to make latkes on Moishe's "foolish generosity." That night, to escape her harangue, he slept in the barn.

Imagine his surprise when his two cows awoke him and told of a stranger who arrived and departed while Moishe slept, leaving behind him tales of magic and adventure and a special gift buried in the hay --- a black frying pan.

When he got home, he told Baila about the night and the gift, which was endowed with a magical property. Of course, she did not believe him, but when Moishe placed the frying pan on the fire, something wonderful happened. (It's a secret.)

The next day, unhappy with the turn of events, Baila hid the Hanukkah candles under her bed, sent Moishe to borrow some more and tried to reproduce the magic feat that Moishe had managed. Of course, since Baila's nature was altogether unkind, the magic she brought on herself was unwelcome indeed. (But that's secret, too.)

Nowadays, visitors to Wishniak come to see the frying pan, which the Rabbi displays under glass.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By songlover1 on December 7, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I LOVE this story! I think it's for everyone, Jewish or not, because it is such fun, and be forewarned, it will make you crave potato pancakes. On a more analytical note, it is a great morality tale with an emphasis on the value of generosity. Elementary teachers will love that you can use this story to demonstrate 6 Traits of Writing: the word choice is divine. The artwork is beautiful and shows little details not specifically mentioned, but implied, about Moishe's generosity, like how he is always giving extra milk to the cat and letting a mouse run away with vegetables. Art teachers will be able to point out the use of shadowing and the rule of thirds. Teachers who need a good Character Counts book can use this for kindness, caring, etc. The last two pages give a brief history of Hanukah that is very well explained, and a glossary of the Hebrew and Yiddish words used in the story, so those of us not in the know can tell the story knowledgeably. Yes, it does all that and it's STILL FUN!!! Must read.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Marcia Murphy on January 13, 2001
Format: Library Binding
From the moment you pick this book up, you are drawn to the light! The light from the fires, the light from the candles, and the light that shines from Moishe's heart. Slonim's wonderful illustrations have taken this plain text and made it magical! Although this is a Hanukkah story it's message of generosity can be embraced by everyone. My only criticism, is how the white boxes that the text appear in, place too much control on the illustrations. This story is sure to become a holiday classic, right up there with The Polar Express
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By "moosechicken" on December 1, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book is great! The illustrations are amazing. I like the part where he gets the pan from the cows. The story is good. This is a good book for all ages.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Eli Batyz on August 27, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a beautiful Hannukah story. My son loves the illustrations and we read it year round.
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