Fuse 8 n’ Kate: When Mindy Saved Hanukkah by Eric A. Kimmel, ill. Barbara McClintock
Kate challenged me to come up with a Hanukkah classic we hadn’t done before and I . . . turned right around and asked social media for their thoughts. And let me tell you, social media had some GOOD suggestions! So many that I’m saving a long list to consult next year. The ultimate winner for today was selected because (A) You can trust author Eric A. Kimmel to present an original Hanukkah story every single time and (B) I was already on a Barbara McClintock kick this year thanks to her work on Tomfoolery! Today we step back in time to 1998 when Mr. Kimmel thought it might be interesting to go all Borrowers on us and create a tale of tiny people battling great big kitty cats. Tell me I’m not the only one getting An American Tail vibe from this.
By the way, if by any chance you are interested in a complete listing of ALL of the picture books we have done on our podcast to date, Kate updated the list and you can find it here.
For the very first time Kate’s choice of tattoo from our featured book comes from the cover of the book in question. It’s the villain of the piece: the pussy cat. She just finds him so cute.
We spoke at one point about how beautiful this art is. You can actually make out both Mindy and the cat in this shot if you squint. I realized, looking at it, that this feels like nothing so much as a predecessor to Mary and the Mouse, the Mouse and Mary which McClintock would illustrate much later.
Having never encountered the detailed nature of Barbara McClintock’s art (and research!) before, Kate was particularly impressed that the mezuzah in this scene, hanging by the crack that Mindy and her family come in and out of, is at an angle.
This was the part that may have impressed me the most? This book was originally published in 1998 and look! Backmatter! A Glossary of terms! A rarity in books of the time and I LOVE it!!
Betsy Recommends: Manual Cinema’s Christmas Carol seen here:
Kate Recommends: The podcast Handsome
Filed under: Fuse 8 n' Kate
About Betsy Bird
Betsy Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.
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