Mac­cabee!: The Sto­ry of Hanukkah

Til­da Bal­s­ley; David Har­ring­ton, illus.
  • Review
By – September 1, 2011
Mac­cabee tells the Hanukkah sto­ry, focus­ing on the actions of the famed hero­ic fam­i­ly that led the fight in Jerusalem against the idol-lov­ing Greeks and their leader King Anti­ochus in ancient times (165 B.C.E.). The action in the pic­ture book focus­es on the small group of Jews who strug­gled long ago against oppres­sion and injus­tice inflict­ed by the invad­ing Greeks as well as their resis­tance to assim­i­la­tion. Forced idol wor­ship­ing and the invad­ing army’s des­e­cra­tion of the Tem­ple enrage the Mac­cabees. They steal away and regroup in the Judean Hills to plan their win­ning attack on the wellarmed invaders. The epi­logue jumps to mod­ern day ask­ing the ques­tion What would Judah do?” mak­ing the leap to ques­tion our mod­ern-day obser­vances of the events. The account is told in an acces­si­ble rhyme with a refrain Some­times it only takes a few,/who know what’s right and do it, too.” Chil­dren will relate to the bright, styl­ized, car­toon-like illus­tra­tions and the char­ac­ters’ dra­mat­ic expres­sions. The com­po­si­tions are dynam­ic and bold. For ages 4 – 8.

Discussion Questions