Esther’s Hanukkah Disaster

  • Review
By – May 13, 2013

Esther the goril­la, anx­ious to treat her ani­mal friends, buys Hanukkah gifts for each one, hop­ing they will be per­fect. The choic­es, how­ev­er, actu­al­ly appear to be total dis­as­ters when they are giv­en. The socks, turtle­necks, jog­ging suits, and puz­zles aren’t right for any­one. Sarah the mouse can­not pos­si­bly use ele­phant size socks, despite their unusu­al pat­terns. Zack the zebra nev­er wears red, so his red turtle­neck is not a good present either. Why does­n’t Zack wear red? Because of the rid­dle, What’s black and white and red all over?” The answer, of course, is an embar­rassed zebra! Josephine the tur­tle won’t wear a jog­ging suit because the fastest she can go is a fast crawl. Each of Esther’s friends rec­i­p­ro­cates with what appears to be a per­fect gift. Esther final­ly man­ages to right all her mis­takes at a very fes­tive eighth night of Hanukkah party.

There is humor through­out as each choice is made. For exam­ple, the jun­gle gym set is marked Build your own jun­gle gym in just ten minutes…or ten days at the most!” The light tone will engage young read­ers. The sto­ry also includes a descrip­tion of Esther as she lights Hanukkah can­dles, says the bless­ings, and remem­bers the sto­ry of the Mac­cabees. There is a note at the end explain­ing the his­to­ry of Hanukkah and the hol­i­day celebrations.

Col­or­ful car­toon-like illus­tra­tions give Esther the char­ac­ter­is­tics of a per­son, and are per­fect in their humor as an accom­pa­ni­ment to the com­ic aspects of the sto­ry. The meno­rah appears as part of the illus­tra­tions on many pages.

Rec­om­mend­ed for ages 4 – 9.

Shelly Feit has an M.L.S. and a Sixth-year Spe­cial­ist’s Cer­tifi­cate in infor­ma­tion sci­ence. She is the library direc­tor and media spe­cial­ist at the Mori­ah School in Engle­wood, NJ.

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