Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins by Eric A. Kimmel (PDF - Online Reading - Download - Summary - Review)


Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins is a 1989 children's picture book written by Eric Kimmel and illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman. It features Jewish folk hero and trickster figure Hershel of Ostropol challenging and defeating through cunning a series of goblins over the course of eight nights of Hanukkah, culminating in a showdown with the Goblin King himself on the final night. The book won a Caldecott Honor in 1990.
In 1999, Shari Aronson of Z Puppets Rosenschnoz received permission from Eric Kimmel to adapt the book Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins for the stage. This adaptation has since been produced four times by the Minnesota Jewish Theater Company, with puppets by Chris Griffith which won an MN Ivey Award in 2009, and several times by theater companies in the US.


On the first night of Hanukkah, a weary traveler named Hershel from Ostropol anxiously approaches a village, where lots of latkes and cheer should warm him up. But when he arrives he doesn't light a single candle. A band of fearsome goblins has taken over the synagogue and the villagers can't celebrate anything!
Hershel promises to help them. But can one man stand up to the goblins, save Hanukkah, and live to tell about it? The 25th Anniversary Edition of this Caldecott Honor Award-winning classic includes an insightful afterword from the author and publisher explaining the book's origins and recalling Trina Schart Hyman, the illustrator who brought the story to life.


It is a very good book. I enjoyed the artwork in the book and thought it was some kind of spiritual battle. Goblins have taken over the synagogue and are not allowing the Hanukkah candles to be lit. Hershel declares that he can keep them on. Hershel has faith, faith in his tradition, and also faith in himself. He knows that he can outwit the goblins.

About The Author

Eric A. Kimmel has published more than fifty children's books, many of which have won state awards and appeared on school and library recommended lists. He has won the National Jewish Book Award for numerous books, including Hanukkah Bear and The Mysterious Guest: A Sukkot Story, and the Sydney Taylor Lifetime Achievement Award. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

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