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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
No Naptime for Janie! A Hanukkah Tale is a holiday-themed children’s picture book written by Margie Blumberg and illustrated by Renee Andriani. Janie’s mom wants her to take a nap while she and Janie’s brother go to the store for some last minute supplies. Janie tries to nap, but she’s just too excited about Hanukkah to even think of sleeping. Fortunately, her grandmother has the perfect idea for the two of them to spend some time together and make something delicious for the family -- they’ll bake an apple pie! This warm and humorous story follows grandmother and granddaughter as they bake a pie from scratch, make a mess out of mom’s kitchen and somehow, miraculously, make it all good as new before mom gets back home from the store. Blumberg includes a glossary of Yiddish terms with pronunciation guides, detailed instructions on how to play Dreidel, the scores and words for two original Hanukkah songs, an apple pie recipe and detailed instructions for lighting the Hanukkah candles for each of the eight nights of the holiday.
Margie Blumberg’s holiday-themed children’s picture book, No Naptime for Janie! A Hanukkah Tale, is a fun and informative book featuring a special bonding moment between grandmother and granddaughter that definitely has to be a lot more fun than taking a nap. The author’s inclusion of a glossary at the beginning of the book is inspired and a great learning tool for both kids and the adults who will be reading this story aloud. I enjoyed learning more about Hanukkah -- including those proper pronunciations. Blumberg’s story is festive, charming and upbeat, and Renee Andriani’s illustrations fit the mood of the tale perfectly. I especially like the way Blumberg has made this book a vehicle to share Hanukkah and its traditions with children from other religious backgrounds. While most kids are familiar with Christmas, Hanukkah is not as familiar in the winter landscape as it should be. Blumberg’s book goes a long way to address that, and I have the strongest feeling that her instructions on playing Dreidel will be especially appreciated. No Naptime for Janie! A Hanukkah Tale is most highly recommended.