A Donut in Time: A ­Hanukkah Story

Apples & Honey. (Saralee Siegel: Bk. 3). Oct. 2022. 136p. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781681155883.
Gr 2-4–In this third book in the “Saralee Siegel” series, Saralee discovers a new facet to her superpowered nose. It is Hanukkah at the Siegel House Restaurant, and Saralee is stunned to learn that she is not the only one in her family with a super-nose. Her great-grandmother Gigi, the fierce and independent woman who started the family restaurant, also had a super-nose. When Saralee recreates Gigi’s donut recipe, the smells lead her through a portal and face-to-face with a young Gigi. To Saralee’s surprise, Gigi is embarrassed by her super-nose and isn’t the confident and strong woman Saralee was expecting. She tries to help Gigi become the successful restaurant owner she was meant to be before Saralee’s whole world is changed. The pacing and the text of the story are perfect for readers who are new to chapter books. Jewish culture and the celebration of Hanukkah are woven seamlessly into the story. The black-and-white illustrations that are peppered throughout enhance the story. The text does not define many of the physical characteristics of the characters; within the illustrations all but one minor character are depicted as white.
VERDICT A sweet story celebrating Jewish culture and sprinkled with a little bit of magic.

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