This team brings us another delightful tale of a wacky bird in this Hanukkah story. The author-illustrator team puts a whimsical spin on the traditional tale of miraculous oil by having the lamp oil first belong to the Ziz. Like any tot with a favorite toy, though, the Ziz is loathe to share the light from his lamp, either with other animals shivering in the darkness or with Judah, who needs the oil for the menorah at the Holy Temple. But after chatting with God (who comes across as a very patient figure), the Ziz discovers that his gift of light to the menorah serves to bring more light to him. This lesson in sharing never swerves to the didactic, though, thanks to Jules's humorous touch and Kahn's energetic pictures. The final pages find the Ziz in the midst of a cozy slumber party, with all his animal buddies enjoying his lamp. A happy ending, indeed, for the preschool set.
The Ziz, a large, somewhat clumsy mythical bird, returns in a Hanukkah story offering an unlikely explanation for how one day's oil lasted eight. Frustrated by how night's winter darkness prevents him from accomplishing his evening tasks, the Ziz looks for ways to light his path. Finally, he decides to approach God on Mt. Sinai, who gives him an oil lantern that burns brightly each night. But his newfound treasure begs sharing from his fellow mountain dwellers. Unwilling, the selfish Ziz flies away with his precious lantern, stopping to rest at the Holy Temple, newly reconstructed after the Maccabee victory. He overhears Judah's worried voice about not having enough oil to light the eternal menorah. The Ziz decides to approach God once more, and He commands the Ziz to help Judah with the oil in his lantern. Colorful paintings in deep tones illustrate this original tale with its goofy-looking overgrown yellow-bodied bird with red-and-purple plumes. Jules incorporates the theme of sharing, as well as apologizing, in a droll version of a holiday tale. (Picture book. 4-6)