The Story of Hanukkah


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.

Read More Show Less
... See more details below
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (18) from $1.99   
  • New (6) from $9.27   
  • Used (12) from $1.99   
Note: Kids' Club Eligible. See More Details.
Sending request ...


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.

Read More Show Less

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
Read More Show Less

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.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)