Flashback Friday: A Hanukkah Favorite!

Flashback Friday is my own little weekly tradition, in which I pick a book from my reading past to highlight — and you’re invited to join in!

Here are the Flashback Friday book selection guidelines:

  1. Has to be something you’ve read yourself
  2. Has to still be available, preferably still in print
  3. Must have been originally published 5 or more years ago

Other than that, the sky’s the limit! Join me, please, and let us all know: what are the books you’ve read that you always rave about? What books from your past do you wish EVERYONE would read? Pick something from five years ago, or go all the way back to the Canterbury Tales if you want. It’s Flashback Friday time!

Happy Hanukkah! Your turkey may be nothing but leftovers by now, but you’ve still got six more days to chow down on latkes! In honor of the (very early!) festival of lights, I thought I’d highlight a family favorite for this week’s Flashback Friday post:

Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins

Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins
by Eric Kimmel
Illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman
(published 1994)

Synopsis (Amazon):

What are the poor villagers to do? The holiday-hating, hill-dwelling hobgoblins are bound and determined to ruin yet another Hanukkah for them. Every year the beasties snuff out the menorah candles, destroy the dreidels, and pitch the potato latkes on the floor. But these wicked wet blankets never counted on someone as clever as Hershel of Ostropol showing up. Using his wits and a few props–pickles, eggs, and a dreidel (a square-shaped top with Hebrew letters on each side)–Hershel manages to outwit all the creepy critters and break the spell. This fabulously creative adaptation of the ancient Hanukkah story in which the Syrians forbade the Jews to worship as they wanted, keeps the spirit of the original while adding a spine-tingling twist. Warmth and humor prevail, even in the midst of hopeless-looking circumstances. Award-winning illustrator Trina Schart Hyman creates lively and witty pictures that pair perfectly with Eric Kimmel’s words to create this Caldecott Honor Book. (Ages 4 to 8)

I have never seen a more rapt group of 6-year-olds than on the day that my son’s teacher asked me to read a Hanukkah story to the class. Once I began the story of Hershel and the icky, creepy, mean creatures who were trying to destroy Hanukkah, they were hooked. Even today, my 11-year-old pulls this one off the shelf for a Hanukkah read-along (although he’d probably be thoroughly embarrassed that I said so). Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins has it all — scary creatures, an ordinary guy who outsmarts the baddies, and really funny (and a little bit frightening) illustrations as well.

Sure, there are plenty of Hanukkah books to choose from, but how many have goblins? We’ve always loved this book at my house, and I’m glad none of us are too old to enjoy it once again this year!

Happy Friday! I hope you’re enjoying the company of a terrific book… and avoiding the shopping madness!


Do you host a book blog meme? Do you participate in a meme that you really, really love? I’m building a Book Blog Meme Directory, and need your help! If you know of a great meme to include — or if you host one yourself — please drop me a note on my Contact page and I’ll be sure to add your info!

2 thoughts on “Flashback Friday: A Hanukkah Favorite!

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