Dec 6, 2011

Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins

Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins by Eric Kimmel
Illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman
Publisher: Holiday House

     It was the first night of Hanukkah and Hershel of Ostropol was walking in the snow towards the nearest village. He was tired and hungry and looking forward to celebrating Hanukkah with lights, songs and plates of potato latkes.  But when he arrived to the town, he found not a single candle lit and learned that the villagers were not allowed to celebrate Hanukkah.  Goblins had harassed them for years.  They haunted the old synagogue, they would blow out the candles as soon as they were lit and throw out their potato latkes.  Hershel offered to get rid of the goblins.  The rabbi told him he had to stay at the old synagogue and light the menorah for eight consecutive nights, making sure that the last candle was lit by the king of the goblins.  Each night Hershel confronts a different goblin and rises to the challenge of outwitting each one of them.  He even tricks the king of the goblin to light the eighth candle, hence disarming him of all his powers.
     Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins is a thrilling read aloud.  The illustrations by Hyman are wonderful and the text by Kimmel is completely enthralling.  There is an appendix at the end of the book here Kimmel explains the meaning and history of Hanukkah, the menorah, dreidel and latkes.  This is a great addition to the holiday libraries at home and at school.  

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