Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Chanukah Tales from Oykvetchnik is a collection of original Yiddish folk stories written by Scott Hilton Davis and illustrated by Amy F. Levine. Davis grew up loving the tales of Sholem Aleichem, I.L. Peretz, Sholem Abramovitsh and Jacob Dinezon, and has devoted his life to sharing the stories he’s collected as well as presenting his own folk tales. Oykvetchnik is a fictional village, or shtetl, set in the Old Country, which is described by the author as the little villages of Russia and Eastern Europe, and the tales in this collection celebrate Davis’ favorite Jewish holiday, Chanukah. This holiday has many fond memories for him, especially lighting the chanukiyah, eating his mother’s fried latkes and playing dreidl as a young boy. His stories reflect those memories and illuminate them for his audience... READ MORE AT LINK BELOW
by Mark Spano, Amazon Reviews
Chanukah Tales from Oykvetchnik is a book of an enchanted past. The author takes the reader to a fantasy land of hard times and humble folks longing for a life better than the one they had.
In these stories, animals and inanimate objects come to life and speak. They are frequently sidekicks or mentors to the lost or seemingly forgotten individuals in these metaphor-packed scenarios.
Davis leads his reader by the hand through a land of history, culture, religion, and traditions that may not be ours specifically, but they are certainly all of ours based on a common humanity and a collective memory.
These are tiny journeys, short in length, yet, deep in the stuff of the soul, journeys into what it means to be a Jew and what it means to human.
Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh’s oldest independent bookstore and a mecca for Triangle-wide bibliophiles, will start the holidays off this year with a book reading/signing event for Jewish storyteller Scott Hilton Davis on Sunday, November 26, starting at 2 p.m.
The founder of Raleigh-based Jewish Storyteller Press and a seven-time Emmy Award-winning public television producer, Davis will introduce the Quail Ridge crowd to his newest book Chanukah Tales from Oykvetchnik. The event is free and open to the public.
The 118-page book is a collection of eight short stories by Scott Davis – one for each night of Chanukah -- that celebrate Jewish history, culture, and values. The stories take readers into “Oykvetchnik” (Oy + kvetch + nik), a tiny shtetl town in Eastern Europe. And for those who may not be familiar with the Jewish/Yiddish terms that appear in the stories, Davis includes a glossary.
“We recommend this book for children and adult of all ages,” the venerable bookstore notes on its Events Calendar.
Jack Magnus, a book critic with Readers’ Favorite.com, writes, “"Laced through the collection is humor, faith, miracles and love, and freshly fried latkes that had my mouth watering as I read."
After he reads a tale or two and takes questions from the audience, the author will sign copies of Chanukah Tales from Oykvetchnik that will be available for purchase (paperback, $9.95; hardcover $16.95).
In its new two-story, 9000-square-foot space in North Hills Shopping Center, Quail Ridge Books is located at 4209 Lassiter Mill Road, No. 100, Raleigh, NC 27609. For more information, visit www.quailridgebooks.com.
For more information on Scott Hilton Davis and other titles from Jewish Storyteller Press, visit www.jewishstorytellerpress.com.
A collection of new stories that celebrate Jewish history, culture, and the Old Country.
On October 1, in time for National Jewish Book Month (November) and Chanukah 2017 (December), Jewish Storyteller Press will release its latest title, Chanukah Tales from Oykvetchnik , via Amazon.com, BN.com, Powells.com, and other online and local bookstores. The publisher predicts that the 120-page book will become a new tradition for an ancient holiday.
Chanukah Tales from Oykvetchnik is a collection of eight original Jewish folk tales – one for each night of the Festival of Lights – written by Scott Hilton Davis (Souls Are Flying!, Between Heaven and Earth), with illustrations by Amy F. Levine.
On its website, Jewish Storyteller Press offers, “Chanukah Tales from Oykvetchnik is a storybook to be read each year as the chanukiyah (nine-branched Chanukah menorah) comes off the shelf, dreidels start spinning, and the smells of freshly fried latkes waft through the house… [It] will fill your heart with the light of Jewish history, culture, and values.” The eight stories are:
1. Chaim the Chanukiyah
2. Myzeleh the Mouse
3. Dvorah Rohkl’s Chanukah Party
4. How Oykvetchnik Got Its Name
5. Reb Shimon the Shammus
6. Peter Markovich the Soldier
7. The Rabbi’s Daughter
8. The Pawnshop Menorah
An Emmy Award-winning public television producer and storyteller, Davis has spent many years bringing the works of his favorite 19th-century Yiddish writers to 21st-century English-speaking readers by publishing new translations, adaptations, and original stories based on the works of once-famous writers such as Sholem Abramovitsh (Mendele Moykher Sforim), Jacob Dinezon, Sholem Aleichem, and I. L. Peretz.
Chanukah Tales from Oykvetchnik (Oy + Kvetch + Nik) is Davis’s first completely original book.
“Chanukah has always been my favorite Jewish holiday,” the author explains. “So it’s not surprising that when I finally began writing my own short stories, they turned out to be Chanukah tales set in the ‘Old Country’ – the tiny towns and villages of Russia and Eastern Europe – before the turn of the 20th century. For many of us who are Jewish, this was the birthplace of our alte bobes and zaydes – our great-grandmothers and grandfather.”
In his review for Readers’ Favorite.com, book critic Jack Magnus writes, “Scott Hilton Davis brings to life the little village of Oykvetchnik and shares a glimpse into the village’s celebration of the Festival of Lights with his readers… I was hooked by the stories and the history I was learning about this special holiday, as well as the culture and lifestyle found in the shtetls. Davis’s stories are grand fun for reading aloud, and Amy Levine’s black and white drawings work perfectly with each tale.”
Chanukah Tales from Oykvetchnik will be available in paperback ($9.95) and hardback ($16.95) at Amazon.com, BN.com, and Powells.com, and other online and local bookstores.
About Jewish Storyteller Press: Founded in 2007 as a way of celebrating Jewish literature, culture, and values, Jewish Storyteller Press is a small independent publishing company committed to using print‑on‑demand and e‑book technology to bring the works of 19th century Yiddish writers to 21st century English-speaking readers. For more information: www.jewishstorytellerpress.com.