Monthly Archives: December 2019

An author in the Spotlight

Tomorrow, I’m honored to be featured in the Children’s Books Spotlight Series which shares stories of authors and illustrators.

You probably enjoyed the Last full moon of the decade and I’ve shared many other moon photos in my blog over the years. I’ve learned through many readers how strong an impact the moon has on their lives both spiritually and intellectually as they learn about the science of astronomy. In my book, ALIANA REACHES FOR THE MOON, Aliana learns about the phases of the moon and is also inspired to use her creativity and the light of the full moon to create a special gift for her brother.

Final Full Moon of the Decade

I got home late last night after an amazing trip. My flight was delayed and I managed to get the very last seat standby seat on a different flight (thanks United!)

I didn’t see the moon on the ride home from the airport, but the night was illuminated so I hoped it would come into view along the way. Only when I was out of the car and on my front steps, did I catch it.

For me, this has been The Year of the Moon from the release of my debut ALIANA REACHES FOR THE MOON to the wonderful celebrations around the world of the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11.

Don’t forget to look up in awe.

Making Hanukkah Memories

This post is my entry for Susanna Leonard Hill’s Holiday contest. The rules can be found here: Details and fine print

Making Hanukkah Memories (225 words)

Shaina knew the Hanukkah story …

the miracle of one night’s oil lasting for eight …

how this connected her with Jews around the world and throughout history. 

She could recite the candle-lighting prayers in both Hebrew and English. 


But for Shaina, family traditions meant just as much. Every year, Bubbe visited from far away. 

Together, they enjoyed the sizzle of the oil … 

the scent of frying dough …

the delicious warmth of sufganiyot …

a holiday treat for all their senses.

But this year Shaina and Mommy planned a surprise.

“Bubbe!” Shaina pulled her grandma inside. Bubbe sniffed the air for the familiar smells of Hanukkah treats. Nothing. Bubbe looked puzzled.

“Tonight we’re going to see the World’s Largest Menorah.” 

Shaina, Mommy, and Bubbe rode the subway to the city. They swayed as it raced around a curve. She squeezed their hands when the train stopped. Shaina’s eyes grew big when they reached the sidewalk. Smiles spread across their faces. A giant menorah loomed above 5th Avenue. 

The scent of oil filled the air. They shared sufganiyot. as a crane climbed to light the Shamash candle and then the first night’s candle. Beneath the glow of the menorah, they discovered boxes with small menorahs for children to take home. Shaina chose one. A menorah of her own!  Making new memories is the best holiday treat of all.

Lighting the menorah

World’s Largest Menorah history and 2019 schedule


Bubbe – Grandma in Yiddish

sufganiyot – Donut in Hebrew

menorah – a nine-branched candle holder used at Hanukkah

shamash – helper in Hebrew; the shamash candle is the one used to light the other candles in the menorah