Letter on the Wind: A Chanukah Tale (Hardcover)

A Chanukah Tale

By Sarah Marwil Lamstein, Neil Waldman (Illustrator)

Boyds Mills Press, 9781932425741, 32pp.

Publication Date: September 1, 2007



A retelling of a Jewish folkale reminds readers of the first Chanukah and of Mattathias's bravery in protecting his faith. Once in a far-off village there nearly was a year without Chanukah. The withering olive trees produced to olives for oil, and without oil there would be no lights for the menorahs. Hayim, the poorest man in the village, said to himself, "We cannot have a year without Chanukah. I will ask the Almighty for help." Despite mockery and laughter from the villagers, Hayim asks the local scribe to write a letter to the Almighty. In it, Hayim prays for oil to light the town's menorahs. The poor man takes his letter to the highest hill and sends it off on the strongest breeze. Hayim's prayers are answered, and the villagers can celebrate Chanukah but many in the town are convinced that Hayim is a thief. Neil Waldman's lyrical illustrations complement Sarah Marwil Lamstein's elegant text in this Sydney Taylor Honor Book.

About the Author

Sarah MarwilLamstein is the author of "Annie's Shabbat, "which was named to "Booklist's "1998 Top Ten Religion Books for Youth. Her other books include the novel "Hunger Moon "and "From the Mango Tree and Other Folktales from Nepal, "coauthored with Kavita Ram Shrestha. She lives with her husband in Newton, Massachusetts.

Neil Waldman has written and illustrated more than fifty books for children, including his recent autobiography, "Out of the Shadows: An Artist's Journey." His work has received many awards, including the Christopher Award. He lives in White Plains, New York."