Cover image for Hershel and the Hanukkah goblins
Hershel and the Hanukkah goblins
Kimmel, Eric A., author.
Personal Author:
25th anniversary edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Holiday House, [2014]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 26 cm
Relates how Hershel outwits the goblins that haunt the old synagogue and prevent the village people from celebrating Hanukkah.
Reading Level:
AD 420 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.0 0.5 42030.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 3.2 2 Quiz: 05205.
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Clarence Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Holiday
Lancaster Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Holiday
Orchard Park Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Current Holiday Item Holiday

On Order



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

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Ages 5-8. Set somewhere in Eastern Europe in the nineteenth century, this new story about Hanukkah introduces Hershel of Ostropol, a wanderer, who is anxious to spend the holiday in the next village. Hershel is looking forward to delicious potato latkes and bright candles. Instead, he finds a group of cowering residents who can't celebrate Hanukkah because of the goblins that haunt the synagogue. Only when the king of the goblins himself lights the candles on the eighth night of Hanukkah will the spell be broken. Hershel informs the rabbi that he'll take care of the goblin problem, and so sets out to trick the creatures and reclaim the holiday. Echoing the works of I. B. Singer (though not approaching their artistry), this is a story whose essentials--cleverness, bravery, and other worldly happenings--always attract readers. Using dark wintry colors, Hyman creates an appropriately gloomy landscape for what could be a truly chilling story. Certainly, the king of the goblins, when he appears, is a hellish figure. The rest of the goblins, in keeping with some of the story's lighter moments, are more cartoonlike, and their benign countenance detracts from the dread as Hershel eliminates his foes one by one. (Goblins five, six, and seven are never seen, perhaps to keep the book a tidy length). Hyman's human characters, however, are strongly delineated, as always, and the story as a whole is a fresh addition to holiday shelves. For those not familiar with the symbols of the holiday--the menorah, driedal, etc.--Kimmel provides an informative author's note. --Ilene Cooper

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 5-Has it really been 25 years since Hershel first strode onto library shelves, banishing goblins through cleverness and humor and saving Hanukkah for a poor, besieged village? Eric Kimmel's wonderful tale (Holiday House, 1989) has not aged a whit, and it now receives prime treatment in this beautiful production. Gildart Jackson gives an expressive performance, pulling all the right heartstrings in this adaptation of the scary yet ultimately triumphant story. Add in the animation of the Caldecott Honor illustrations by Trina Schart Hyman, with all their details, and viewers will experience a treasure indeed. VERDICT This is a wonderful presentation that will have little ones on the edge of their seats. It deserves to be a staple for all Hanukkah celebrations.-Teresa Bateman, Brigadoon Elementary, Federal Way, WA © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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