Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins

Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins

4.8 9
by Eric A. Kimmel, Trina Schart Hyman

View All Available Formats & Editions

A traveler rids a village synagogue of goblins by outwitting them. A Caldecott Honor Book.  See more details below


A traveler rids a village synagogue of goblins by outwitting them. A Caldecott Honor Book.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Can Hershel really rid the village synagogue of goblins? He successfully uses his wits to oust the eight creatures haunting the old synagogue and who are preventing the villagers from celebrating Hanukkah. Kimmel provides a humorous, entertaining and just slightly scary story for all young readers. Hyman's illustrations emphasize all of the tension with dark scenes of the goblins and their attempts to frighten Hershel. A Caldecott Honor Book.
Bobbie Combs
Hyman's pictures are filled with drama, expressive people and ugly goblins, and on the last page there's an author's note with an explanation of the history and symbols of Hanukkah.
Alternative Family
Children's Literature - Lois Rubin Gross
Light the candles! Spin the dredel! Celebrate the silver anniversary of the iconic holiday classic! Hanukkah wouldn’t be Hanukkah with at least one visit to Ostropol where villager Hershel vows to rid the synagogue of an assortment of goblins that are preventing the townspeople from celebrating the holiday. Hershel takes on the challenge of making the Goblin King light candles for eight nights to defeat the goblins’ curse. On each night the goblins grow, from small and silly; to fat and goofy; to the ultimately evil of the King of the Goblins. Hershel uses the goblins’ own foolishness and ego to trick them into participating in the holiday celebration, which leads to their destruction. The goblins’ defeat comes with the use of very mundane items: a boiled egg, a jar of pickles, and a dreidel game played to Hershel’s advantage. The final confrontation is a battle of wits between the Goblin King and the trickster human, but the explosive conclusion is as satisfying now as it was a quarter century ago. Of course, the modern folktale is perfectly complemented by Trina Schart Hyman’s moody yet laughable illustrations that are the clear stars of the book. Missing from this new edition is the explanation of Hanukkah and instructions on how to play dreidel in a non-goblin duping manner. The afterword offers some inspiration for writers as Kimmel shares how his story was repeatedly rejected by publishing houses and was ultimately printed only as a substitute piece for Cricket Magazine. Adults will appreciate Kimmel’s amended account of his story’s repeated rejections in the very competitive world of children’s book publishing. This story begs for classroom reading to children old enough to sit through a wordier tale. Expand the book with traditional Hanukkah stories or other goblin tales like Sendak’s Outside Over There. Reviewer: Lois Rubin Gross; Ages 5 to 10.

Read More

Product Details

Holiday House, Inc.
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
7.46(w) x 9.56(h) x 0.10(d)
AD420L (what's this?)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Eric A. Kimmel is a well-known folklorist and the author of numerous books for children, including Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins, a Caldecott Honor Book illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman, and The Rooster's Antlers: A Story of the Chinese Zodiac, illustrated by YongSheng Xuan. He lives in Oregon.

Trina Schart Hyman's love of drawing was developed early in her childhood. She was a very shy child, and was afraid of many things. She played fantasy games with her sister, Karleen and drew a lot. She studied at Philadelphia Museum College of Art. She is a winner of the Horn Award for King Stork. She has illustrated over 150 children's books.

With acting credits that span stage and screen, Gildart Jackson is most often recognized for his role as Gideon on Charmed. Theater roles include Trigorin in The Seagull, Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady, and Adrian in Private Eyes at the Old Globe.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >