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I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Dreidel

Written by Caryn Yacowitz

Illustrated by David Slonim


All the family wants is a happy Chanukah with their wonderful grandmother. But when Bubbe swallows one misplaced dreidel - a Chanukah dreidel she thought was a bagel - well, who knows what might happen next?

Many famous artworks and one beloved folk song take on hilarious new life in this Chanukah hoot!


Reviews and Awards

A Bank Street College Center for Children's Literature Best Book of the Year

⋆ "This isn’t just a holiday-themed spoof of the classic cumulative song—Slonim takes readers through a nothing-sacred salute to art history. It all begins as the old lady gulps down a growing litany of Jewish-related food and nonfood items (brisket, candles) in search of a remedy for the triggering mishap of the title; she inadvertently swallows a “Chanukah dreidel she thought was a bagel” after her cat knocks it onto the cream cheese–schmeared item. All the while, Slonim’s illustrations parody, among others, Hopper’s Nighthawks, Wyeth’s Christina’s World, Munch’s The Scream, and van Gogh’s Starry Night, complete with menorah. An artist’s note at the back identifies all of the original works. It’s meshugenah in the best sense of the word." - Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Entertaining." - Wall Street Journal

"The silliness, cadence and rhythm of the verse all work with the original tune… Acrylic-based drawings using charcoal, pen and pencil place this bubbe in various scenes taken from classical paintings, providing an educational twist. She appears in comical versions of Munch's The Scream and Vermeer's The Milkmaid. The applesauce in a red-and-white can spoofs Andy Warhol's Campbell Soup Cans, and the menorah is set against the background of van Gogh's The Starry Night… Fun." - Kirkus Reviews

"The American Gothic parody on the first wordless spread - showing Ma and Pa, a boy, a cat…and a menorah - previews this freewheeling volume, part warm family holiday story, part art appreciation book, and part cumulative rhyme. Yacowitz’s clever Hanukkah-themed text lists the items swallowed by the bubbie - latkes, gelt, candles, dreidel - (“Perhaps it’s fatal” is the refrain), while Slonim’s humorous cartoony illustrations - a well-designed mix of spreads and panels—tell their own story, courtesy of the old masters." - Horn Book


Purchase Options
Indiebound • Scholastic Store • Amazon • Barnes & Noble


Summer 2014
Picture Book
ISBN: 978-0-439-91530-4
Price: $17.99/$19.99
Trim Size: 10" x 8"
Page Count: 32
Foreign Rights: Scholastic
Translation Rights: Scholastic
Rights Available? yes