The Sto­ry of Hanukkah

David A. Adler; Jill Weber, illus.
  • Review
By – December 19, 2011

David Adler relates the sto­ry of Hanukkah in child-friend­ly lan­guage. The nar­ra­tive is col­or­ful­ly illus­trat­ed with acrylic paint­ing, which clear­ly reflects the action of the sto­ry. The coher­ence between illus­tra­tion and text enhances our under­stand­ing of why we cel­e­brate Hanukkah. The author reminds us of the mir­a­cle, two thou­sand years ago, when the oil for the ner tamid, the eter­nal flame in the recap­tured and rebuilt Tem­ple in Jerusalem, burned for eight days in spite of being suf­fi­cient for only one. We are made aware of anoth­er mir­a­cle, as well. Judah Mac­cabee led the Jews, who were farm­ers and shep­herds and much few­er in num­ber than the Greek sol­diers. The Mac­cabees were vic­to­ri­ous in every bat­tle against the well-trained and well-armed Greeks. Read­ers might note the strik­ing sim­i­lar­i­ty of bat­tle tac­tics used by the Mac­cabees to those used by the patri­ots and Native Amer­i­cans dur­ing the Amer­i­can Rev­o­lu­tion. The moti­va­tion for all was the acqui­si­tion of free­dom. This book can be read aloud to 6 year olds and read alone by chil­dren 7 and older. 

Nao­mi Kramer is a retired read­ing con­sul­tant teacher who devel­oped cur­ricu­lum for using lit­er­a­ture to edu­cate chil­dren and adults in the his­to­ry of the Holo­caust. She is a docent and edu­ca­tor at the Holo­caust Memo­r­i­al and Tol­er­ance Edu­ca­tion Cen­ter of Nas­sau County.

Discussion Questions