Picture Book Review: Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins by Eric Kimmel

Looking for your next read? Check out Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins by Eric Kimmel, reviewed by Fulco Library staff, Michael S.

Chanukah, November 28-December 6, one of the most widely observed Jewish holidays, is a joyous eight-day celebration. Also called the “Festival of Lights”, celebrants light a candle each night on a candelabra known as a menorah, spin a top called a dreidel and eat fried foods such as donuts and potato pancakes. Chanukah-alternatively spelled Hanukkah-which means "dedication" in Hebrew, commemorates the victory of a small group of Jewish rebels over the armies of Syria in 165 B.C.E.

Set in the late 19th century, title character Hershel of Ostropol comes to a small village and discovers that because of wicked goblins, Chanukah cannot be celebrated. The townspeople explain that the only way to get rid of these evil forces would be to somehow trick them into lighting Chanukah candles. Hershel, uses his keen intelligence and humor to battle them. Eric Kimmel manages to do many things with this work: introduce the reader to some of Chanukah’s traditions, paint a picture of the Shtetl (a small Jewish town or village found in Eastern Europe that tragically disappeared during the holocaust) and introduce a traditional Jewish folk tale. As a result, he has created a modern holiday classic, appropriate for children of all ages.

Check out Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins on Hoopla, or from your branch's shelves with your library card today!

Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins

Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins

Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins eAudiobook

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