Martha Seif Simpson

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The Dreidel That Wouldn't Spin: A Toyshop Tale of Hanukkah
by Martha Seif Simpson
illustrated by Durga Yael Bernhard

Wisdom Tales Press, October 2014
ISBN 978-1-937786-28-1
Price: $16.95
Hardcover 8" × 10" /​ 32 pages
Ages 4 and up


My book at the Wisdom Tales booth at BookExpo America

Selected Works

Picture Books
A shopkeeper witnesses a small miracle in his toy store and learns the true meaning of Hanukkah.
A boy offers advice on what NOT to give your mom, unless she's an animal.
Library and Teacher Resource Books
Complete plans for designing and implementing a series of class visits to the public library,/b>
Library and Teacher Resource Books
StoryCraft is an award-winning library program that combines storytelling with crafts in an exciting and engaging activity for children in first through third grades. This book presents complete instructions for presenting 50 fun-filled sessions.
Exciting theme-based units (such as Cartoon Cavalcade, Log On at the Library, Go in Style, Cruising the Mall, Space Shots, Teens on TV, and 44 others) that are designed for young adults. /font face="Arial">
The first book ever published with ideas for the ever-popular Summer Reading Program at the public library!

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The Dreidel That Wouldn't Spin: A Toyshop Tale of Hanukkah


Wisdom Tales Book Trailer



Activities to go along with the book




Children's Books About the True Holiday Spirit




An Interview with Sandra Bornstein




Article in the Jewish Ledger



The NY Journal of Books raves about my book!


The Dreidle that Wouldn't Spin is a feel-good story that families will be able to share and enjoy year after year. It perfectly encapsulates the message of this minor holiday. The illustrations by Durga Yael Bernhard complement and capture utterly the text throughout, with lots of spot art to keep the child engaged while the story develops.

One of the best Hanukkah books to come out in years. Like the magical dreidel in the story, The Dreidel that Wouldn't Spin is a treasure.

This is what School Library Journal has to say about my book:


K-Gr 2–In this gentle parable, a peddler gives a splendorous Hanukkah dreidel to the greedy owner of a toy shop with the admonishment that “...the miracle of Hanukkah cannot be bought.”
... Folkloric watercolor illustrations in a pale palette are appropriately soft in tone while images of the toys offering their own expressive impressions of the goings-on inject a bit of humor. A lovely choice for those wishing to circumvent the more commercial aspects of the holiday.
–Teri Markson, Los Angeles Public Library