Nana has come to take care of little Janie while Mom and her brother go out. Janie is supposed to take a nap, but she’s too excited. Tonight will be the lighting of the first Hanukkah candle and there will be lots of good food, visiting family and friends and, of course, games. Counting sheep doesn’t help, so Janie goes downstairs to watch Nana knit. Nana, however, has a better idea. “I’m thrilled you’re awake!/ We can bake a surprise -/ A Hanukkah treat/ For your tummy and eyes.” Off to the kitchen they go to bake the best apple pie ever. Or, as Nana puts it, the most “scrumpdillyishiest pie!” They have fun working together and make quite a mess, which they do clean up. It’s quite an undertaking and, when they’re done, and when they’ve both taste-tested their creation, Janie is finally tired and goes up to take a nap just as her mother returns.
Togetherness, family connections, celebrating with food, family and friends – it’s an annual tradition observed by millions of Jewish families around the world. Margie Blumberg’s charming children’s picture book story, No Naptime for Janie: A Hanukkah Tale, is a real treasure. Told completely in rhyming verse and coupled with delightful illustrations, this story promotes the importance of family and traditions. There is a glossary at the beginning to explain the Hebrew and Yiddish words used in the text. At the end of the story, there are instructions for playing the traditional Hanukkah game of dreidel, as well as sheet music for two original Hanukkah songs—a lullaby and new lyrics to the song "Ma'oz Tzur"—and, most important, the recipe for Nana’s scrumpdillyishiest apple pie!
Nana is babysitting for Janie the afternoon before the first Hanukkah candle is to be lit, and Janie does not want to take her usual nap. Nana comes up with a better idea — let’s bake an apple pie! The two conspirators, accompanied by the family’s shaggy dog, bake the most “scrumpdillishiest” apple pie ever, making a glorious mess of the formerly spotless kitchen in the process. They then proceed to clean the kitchen thoroughly because “that’s polite.” When Mom and baby brother return, they know a yummy pie is waiting. Later Father comes home, and the house is ready for lighting candles, singing songs, latkes, dreidels, partying, and of course eating delicious treats.
The story is told in rhyme and is accompanied by color illustrations showing happy, expressive faces and a cozy, cheerful home. The book includes a glossary, instructions for playing dreidel, words and music to two songs, a recipe for apple pie, and a mini lesson on how to light Hanukkah candles.
READERS' FAVORITE, 5 STARS, Darin Godby
Author Margie Blumberg in her book No Naptime for Janie! A Hanukkah Tale takes the reader along a joyful and fun-filled journey with little Janie. The first night of Hanukkah is just hours away, and Janie's mom has suggested she take a nap while she and Janie's brother go on a last-minute shopping trip. But Janie can't fall asleep. Janie's nana is happy about that because she would like to show her granddaughter how to bake a pie for the holiday. They bake the pie, then realize they forgot they needed sweet apricot jam to spread on top of the pie. Looking high and low until they were exhausted, they finally found it secure in a basket on a shelf. After eating the pie and making such a mess, energetic Janie helps to clean up everything, making the kitchen look almost as good as new. Soon, Janie announces that she is sleepy indeed, and then her mom comes home, amazed to find her heading upstairs for what she believes is Janie's second nap.
Illustrator Renee Andriani does a marvelous job with detailed images to lead the reader along in this entertaining story. Also, within the book author Blumberg includes a list of possibly unfamiliar words and their definitions, instructions on how to play the game dreidel, a couple of songs to sing, and a scrumptious apple pie recipe that allows the reader to almost taste it from reading the pages. Last of all, there is an explanation of lighting the candles for Hanukkah and their meanings. This is a very entertaining, enriching, meaningful book. This would be a great story to explain the meaning of Hanukkah for children and family readings. Very well written. Very enjoyable.
READERS' FAVORITE, 5 STARS, Jack Magnus
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.