Thursday Quotables: The Hanukkah edition!


Welcome back to Thursday Quotables! This weekly feature is the place to highlight a great quote, line, or passage discovered during your reading each week.  Whether it’s something funny, startling, gut-wrenching, or just really beautifully written, Thursday Quotables is where my favorite lines of the week will be, and you’re invited to join in!

Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins by Eric Kimmel
Illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman

(published 1989)

Getting into the holiday spirit with an old favorite!

The king of the goblins roared with fury. The earth trembled and a mighty wind arose. It ripped off the synagogue roof and blew down the walls. It splintered the great timbers and scattered them like matchsticks. Around the menorah the whirlwind howled, but the candles never flickered. They burned with clear, steady flames. The king of the goblins had no power over them. The spirit of Hanukkah had triumphed.

Wishing all who celebrate a joyous festival of lights!

What lines made you laugh, cry, or gasp this week? Do tell!

If you’d like to participate in Thursday Quotables, it’s really simple:

  • Write a Thursday Quotables post on your blog. Try to pick something from whatever you’re reading now. And please be sure to include a link back to Bookshelf Fantasies in your post (, if you’d be so kind!
  • Leave your link in the comments — or, if you have a quote to share but not a blog post, you can leave your quote in the comments too!
  • Visit other linked blogs to view their Thursday Quotables, and have fun!

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!


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Happy Hanukkah to me! A celebration – with books.

Earlier this week, I wrote a blog post as part of the Top Ten Tuesday blog hop, about the top 10 books I’d like to receive as gifts this holiday season (or any holiday season, or ever, really). I bemoaned the fact that no one in my family or circle of friends buys me books, for reasons too sad to get into again (but you can read my post here, if you’d like).

But really, it wasn’t entirely fair for me to make this statement, as my wonderful and amazing daughter is the exception to the rule. A brief moment of mommy bragginess: My daughter, age 22, is smart, funny, caring, and a reader; she’s the light of my life, and everything a mother could want in a daughter. We make each other laugh; we share the same taste in books, movies, TV shows… you name it.

And so, darling daughter — currently spending a year in Alaska as an Americorps volunteer — sent the family a package in time for Hanukkah, which we opened tonight after latkes were eaten, candles were lit, songs were sung. And in that package was a book for me! And guess what? It was:

  1. A book that I didn’t already own
  2. A book that I hadn’t already read
  3. A book that I hadn’t even known existed

Success! My girl is amazing. She got me… drumroll, please… the brand-new graphic novel of A Wrinkle In Time! A Wrinkle In Time is only one of my very favorite children’s books, and now THERE’S A GRAPHIC NOVEL! (Please excuse my excessive use of caps lock — I’m a tad overexcited at the moment).

You know when someone gives you a present, and you open it up and it’s not really something you’re all that into, but you smile and say “wow!” and “oh my god” and other inane things intended to show happiness with something you could really do without? This was not one of those times. Darling daughter picked out the perfect something — something that I’ll enjoy, something I’m excited to receive, and most important to me, something that shows that she really knows me.

I can’t wait to read my new book. I love my daughter. Basically, I’m a happy camper.

See? The way to a booklover’s heart is through her bookshelves. ‘Tis the season to give and receive good books. And, oh yeah, one more time: I love my daughter.