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The Extraordinary Dreidel (Paperback)

Children's Books Colour Books

By Devorah Omer, Illustrations by Aviel Basil, Translated by Shira Atik
Imprint: Green Bean Books
Pages: 24
Illustrations: Illustrated throughout
ISBN: 9781784389376
Published: 4th September 2023



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It is Hanukkah, and brother and sister Gil and Nurit have just been given a wooden dreidel made for them by their uncle. The children soon discover just how special this dreidel really is when they uncover its secret, hidden compartment.

Gil and Nurit discuss which of their own things they should hide inside. Gil then decides he will take the dreidel to his school Hanukkah party and offer a prize to the person with the best idea. But when Gil is preparing to leave, the dreidel is nowhere to be found. When he goes to fetch his jacket from the closet, however, he is met with a great surprise!

The Extraordinary Dreidel is a light-hearted, family-focused, informative story for children that will educate them about the festival of Hanukkah and its traditions in a way they can easily comprehend, and that will help them understand their place within the holiday. Aviel Basil’s colourful, eye-catching illustrations are the perfect accompaniment to this enjoyable, meaningful tale.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Sweet Hanukkah story about a boy with a special dreidel....it has a secret compartment!

He is SO excited to bring to school to show his friends but before the Hanukkah party, it goes missing. He & his family look everywhere for the dreidel and find it in an unusual spot with an even more unusual guest (or guests as it may be).

You'll have to read to find out what happens! 6 year old loved it and perfect for the upcoming season.

NetGalley, Sara Allison

This cute Israeli Hanukkah story begins when a beloved uncle gives the children a very special giant dreidel with a secret compartment. There is a lot of discussion about what they should put inside the dreidel. The story which shows loving relationships within the family and a happy classroom has a sweet twist ending. Aviel Basil's illustrations which paint the characters with bright bold colors, include simple green line drawings for most of the backgrounds. This emphasises the focus on family that is predominant in the story. The artist has also subtly shown the diversity of Jews by giving the family darker skin tones.

Devorah Omer was a renown award winning Israeli children's author who wrote over 100 books during the last century. Shira Atik has done a fantastic job of translating and modernizing this little story. The story was delightful.

NetGalley, Julie Ditton

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This is a fun Chanukah story with an unexpected twist. Colorful illustrations make the story even more enjoyable. Can’t wait to get this beautiful story for my grandchildren, now that it’s almost Chanukah.

NetGalley, Bozhena Levine

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This book was very cute! I really enjoyed using it in my classroom with my students as part of our study of different religious holidays.

NetGalley, Leslie Welsh

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I love this sweet book! It’s not teaching people about Hanukkah, it’s for an audience who already knows it. Which I love. The relationship within the family is wonderful. Which I love. The relationship between the student and his classmates and teacher is wonderful. Which I love. And, there’s a lovely twist at the end. Which I love. I can’t wait to get copies of this and share them as Hanukkah gifts.

NetGalley, Amy London

A feel good story that teaches all the meaning and spirit of Hanukkah. Well written.

NetGalley, Mary Cummins

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Loved this story. Uncle gives his niece and nephew a special dreidel with a large secret compartment. There’s much discussion about what to hide in it. The conclusion was cute and sweet. Great illustrations.

NetGalley, Susan Fryman

About Devorah Omer

Devorah Omer (1932–2013) was born in Kibbutz Maoz Haim in 1932. Completing her studies in 1952, she went on to become a teacher, which was when she began to write books. In her lifetime, she wrote and adapted more than 100 books for children and young people, which have been translated into many languages. 
She received a great number of awards for her work, including the Ministry of Education Prize in 1973, the Ministry of Education Prize for Lifetime Achievement in 2005 and the Israel Prize for Lifetime Achievement in 2006. Her books also won her the Book Publishers Association's Gold and Platinum Awards on several occasions. She is one of the most prolific and popular children’s authors ever to come out of Israel. Devorah Omer died in Israel at the age of 80.

About Aviel Basil

Aviel Basil graduated from Shenkar College of Design in Tel Aviv with a bachelor’s degree in graphic design. He currently works and lives in Tel Aviv. Since graduating in 2011, Aviel has illustrated more than 50 children’s books which have been published in Israel. He won a silver medal for his first book in the Israel Museum 2012 award for children’s book illustration. He has also illustrated for magazines, advertisements and worked on character and background designs for apps and animations. His style is inspired by 50s illustration and he loves to use a bright and colourful palette.

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