The Ziz and the Hanukkah Miracle is a clever attempt to explain the Hanukkah miracle of the oil that lasted eight days. This non-traditional story is a lighthearted, whimsical fantasy about the Ziz, a nearsighted bird who longs for more light in the winter so that he can make his dinner. He sets out on a solitary journey to find light. He catches fireflies, lantern fish, and even attempts to capture the moon. Frustrated with his lack of success, he finally asks for God’s help. God provides the Ziz with an oil lamp, which he greedily refuses to share with the other animals. When the Ziz discovers the menorah in the Holy Temple needs oil, he relents. With the help of the other animals, the menorah burns brightly. With his new friends by his side, the Ziz’s oil lamp burns even brighter. The Ziz and the Hanukkah Miracle is not a conventional Hanukkah story, but the value of friendship, working together, and even Tikkun Olam are nicely woven into the story. The illustrations are bold, colorful and full of light. Ages 3 – 7.
Barbara Bietz is a freelance writer and children’s book reviewer. She is currently a member of the Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee. Barbara is the author of the middle grade book, Like a Maccabee. She has a blog dedicated to Jewish books for children at www.BarbaraBBookBlog.Blogspot.com.