Posted by: Kathy Temean | August 8, 2018

Book Giveaway – Dreidel Day by Amalia Hoffman

The New Winner of SNOW DAY BY CHERYL NOBENS is Wendy Greenley – Wendy please send me your address. Thanks and Congratulations!

Author/ Illustrator Amalia Hoffman has a new board book titled DREIDEL DAY. She has agreed to share a copy with one lucky winner. All you have to do to get in the running is to leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know the other things you do to share the good news, so I can put in the right amount of tickets in my basket for you.

Sharing on Facebook, Twitter, reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. Thanks for helping Amalia!


Dreidel Day is a 9 word board book for babies and toddlers.

When Cat spins 1 dreidel on the first day of Hanukkah, she embarks on an amusing 8 days adventure. Cat and Dreidels interact by spinning, bouncing, tumbling, hopping, balancing, hiding, resting and finally, lighting the menorah with another cat friend. Turn the pages and see how much fun counting from 1 to 8 can be as more dreidels appear on each additional day.

A sweet and playful cat encourages the reader to count to eight to celebrate Hanukkah. Can you spot the hidden objects? Hanukkah celebrates the victory of the brave Maccabees over the mighty armies of Syrian King Antiochus, and the restoration of the Temple in Jerusalem. Celebrate Hanukkah, the eight-day Festival of Lights, with Dreidel Day!


In 2017 I started thinking of an idea for an engaging Hanukkah book that will also appeal to very young children in diverse families. I kept asking myself, what do children enjoy on Hanukkah? Well, they love the dreidel and they count from 1-8 as they light the menorah. So I began playing with the idea of a counting board book for Hanukkah, starring-a dreidel.

Then, I thought that maybe the book would be more child friendly if Dreidel had a Cat friend so that they could do something fun together on each day of Hanukkah.

So I searched for the kind of activities that Dreidel and Cat could do and came up with, Spin, Bounce, Tumble , Hop, Hide, Balance, Rest etc.…

Since I am a writer/ilustrator, I was also experimenting with different techniques to create my now, two characters-dreidel and cat.

I love paper cuts so I experimented cutting the dreidels and cat to create a 3D illusion and gluing them on a surface that I coated with light plaster and painted on top.

I wanted the cat to be super simple, almost cartoonish, but not quite. I kept curling the paper “paws”, “whiskers” and “tail” as I went along.

Since I wanted the book to be very diverse, there’s a white cat who, on the last page, lights the menorah with a brown cat friend.

I worked on the book with Joanna Sussman from Kar Ben/Lerner Publishing and it was a wonderful experience. Joanna suggested that on each spread, the reader could find something else to count besides dreidels . So I added one sock, 2 balls, 7 stars etc.

I felt like a kid, cutting dreidels and cats . At the end of the day, the floor in my studio looked like a paper carpet.

Shortly after we completed the work, I got an email from PJ Library. My book won the $2000 PJ Library Author Incentive Award. Then, I found out that it was also selected as a PJ Library book for 2018, which means that they will buy lots of copies to be distributed across the country.

Click Here to see Amalia using cut paper to make the book. 


Amalia Hoffman is an author, illustrator and storyteller. She performs her stories dressed up in costumes, accompanied with puppets.

Her board book, Dreidel Day (Kar-Ben Publishing, Fall, 2018) was selected as PJ Library book and received the PJ Library Author Incentive Award.

Her nonfiction picture book, The Brave Cyclist will be published by Capstone Publishing in 2019.

Two board books,Astro Pea and All Colors are forthcoming from Schiffer Books, Spring, 2019.

Other books include, The Klezmer Bunch and Purim Goodies (Gefen Publishing House.)

Amalia designed and illustrated Rose Bud, an oversized book with pop-up elements for Israel’s children’s theater, “The Train.”

Amalia’s article, Queen Esther and I was published in Highlights Magazine for Children, March, 2016.

Amalia received the SCBWI 2005 portfolio award for illustration in the category of Fantasy. Her portfolio was selected first place in the 2014 21st Century Non Fiction Conference and 2nd place in 2016.

Amalia is a participating artist at ArtsWestchester, a cultural organization that pairs artists and writers with under privileged schools and community centers.

Thank you Amalia for sharing your journey with us and offering one lucky winner a copy of your new book, DREIDEL DAY. Looks like a fun book to help celebrate Hanukkah.

Talk tomorrow,




  1. Congratulations, Amalia! Wishing you all the best to you and your dreidel!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congrats, Amalia! Very excited about Dreidel Day and your upcoming releases! So happy to see all those books you worked so hard on coming to life :-).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So happy for you! I can’t wait to read Dreidel Day!

    Liked by 1 person

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