The Story of Hanukkah

Overview

In a simple yet dramatic text and vibrant paintings, the story of the courageous Maccabees and the miracle of the oil that burned for 8 days that took place the Temple in Jerusalem is retold for children.

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Overview

In a simple yet dramatic text and vibrant paintings, the story of the courageous Maccabees and the miracle of the oil that burned for 8 days that took place the Temple in Jerusalem is retold for children.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—A straightforward retelling that emphasizes the historical origins of the holiday. Recounting the hard-fought battle of a small band of Jews (known as Maccabees) against the armies of King Antiochus IV, as well as the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem following its desecration, the book places the celebration in a context that is less about miracles (one day's oil lasting for eight days), and more about the Jews' fight for religious freedom. The simple, accessible text is enhanced by acrylic spreads in rich, warm colors that bring both solemnity and excitement to the story. With so much holiday hoopla focusing on less historical, more celebratory aspects of Hanukkah, it is good to have a book that tells it like it was. A latke recipe and directions for playing dreidel are included. A welcome addition.—Teri Markson, Los Angeles Public Library
Kirkus Reviews

The story of war, destruction and renewal in ancient Judea, fueled by the Jewish determination to freely maintain a belief in one God.

Adler recounts the plight of the small Jewish army led against Greek King Antiochus IV first by the old priest Mattathias and then by his son Judah in a direct, active voice. Throughout, explanations are provided for the cause of the conflict, the meaning of the word Maccabee and why the Jewish army was known by that name and legend of the fabledner tamid,or eternal light, that remained lit for eight days with only one day's supply of oil. Diminutive, often detailed Biblical scenes in acrylic paints complement the plainspoken narrative. A final, contemporary two-page view of menorah lighting and dreidel play appears along with a basic description of how the holiday is celebrated today with songs, fried potato pancakes, jelly doughnuts and an explanation of the dreidel's Hebrew acronym for the sentence, "A great miracle happened there." There is only brief mention of the sometime modern-day practice of giving gifts.

This very traditional chronicle remains true to the legendary Judaic story, making it an excellent introduction to the holiday. (recipe, game directions)(Picture book/religion. 6-8)

Children's Literature - Avee Gee
What is the real Hanukkah story? Placing the Hanukkah story in its historical context, we see the Jewish people living peacefully as shepherds and farmers in Judea or what we now know as Israel. Jews gathered at the golden-gated temple in Jerusalem to celebrate the holidays, but one day everything changed. The Greek King Antiochus IV takes power; destroying the temple and killing anyone who would not bow down to the Greek idols. Refusing to worship their gods, Matthias, an old Jewish priest, flees with his family to the hillside, hiding in and behind caves. The Greek soldiers soon find them and attack, but the Jews (calling themselves Maccabees which Adler explains means "hammers") fight back. When Matthias dies, his son Judah leads the revolt; despite the odds he defeats the Greeks. The Maccabees return to the temple mount and restore it to its former beauty. They discover a small jar with oil to light the eternal light, Ner Tamid, but it will only last for one day. When the oil lasts eight days, the Maccabees are so delighted they decide to celebrate annually with a holiday reminding us of the "rededication" of the temple or in Hebrew, Hanukkah. Although many Hanukkah stories exist, Adler successfully conveys the details of the story within a concise historical context. He clearly defines words and concepts associated with the holiday, and includes a latke recipe and directions for playing dreidel. Whether you are familiar with Hanukkah or not, Adler's text along with Weber's vibrant illustrations provides a greater appreciation for the holiday's origins. Reviewer: Avee Gee
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823422951
  • Publisher: Holiday House, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/26/2011
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD730L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.20 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

David Adler

David A. Adler lives in Woodmere, New York. Joy Allen lives in Cameron Park, California.

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