The Ziz and the Hanukkah Miracle

Jacque­line Jules, Kather­ine Janus Kahn, Illustrator
  • Review
By – June 25, 2012
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.

Read­ing Guide

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​.Bar​baraB​Book​Blog​.Blogspot​.com.

Discussion Questions