Bubba Brayna’s legendary latkes lure an unexpected visitor into her home in this playful Hanukkah tale from a master storyteller.
Bubba Brayna makes the best latkes in the village, and on the first night of Hanukkah, the scent of her cooking wakes a hungry, adorable bear from his hibernation. He lumbers into town to investigate, and Bubba Brayna—who does not see or hear very well—mistakes him for her rabbi. She welcomes the bear inside to play the dreidel game, light the menorah, and enjoy a scrumptious meal.
However, after her well-fed guest leaves, there’s a knock at the door—it’s the rabbi, and all of Brayna’s other friends, arriving for dinner. But there are no latkes left—and together, they finally figure out who really ate them.
Lively illustrations by Mike Wohnoutka, portraying the sprightly Bubba Brayna and her very hungry guest, accompany this instant family favorite, a humorous reworking of Eric A. Kimmel’s earlier classic tale, The Chanukkah Guest. A traditional recipe for latkes is included in the back matter, along with interesting, digestible facts about the history and traditions of Hanukkah.
A 2013 National Jewish Book Award Winner, this book is perfect for a holiday story time with children— either in the classroom or at home, as an introduction for young readers to the traditions and customs of Hanukkah, and as a classic to return to year after year.
Eric A. Kimmel, known for his retellings of Jewish folktales, is the author of more than a hundred children's books, including The Adventures of Hershel of Ostropol, another classic tale also illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman. Eric is a five-time winner of the National Jewish Book award, and the recipient of a Sydney Taylor Lifetime Achievement award. Many of his titles have won state awards and appeared on school and library recommended lists.
One of the most distinguished and celebrated illustrators of her generation, Trina Schart Hyman (1939-2004) was awarded the Caldecott Medal for St. George and the Dragon, retold by Margaret Hodges, and Caldecott Honors for A Child's Calendar, by John Updike, Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins, and Little Red Riding Hood. Born in Philadelphia, she lived most of her life in New Hampshire.
★ In this splendidly illustrated, humorous tale, Hershel outwits, one by one, eight fearsome goblins who not only haunt an old synagogue, but also have been forestalling Hanukkah in a nearby village . . . Rarely are author and illustrator so in tune. --Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
This, my friends, is our Hanukkah pop-culture icon. Judaism's very own A Christmas Carol, if you will. . . . Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins has become a holiday staple not only because it creates a compelling story that mimics the historical tale, but largely because it brings fun and magic to the season outside of the holiday's original traditions.-- Aliza Pelto, heyalma.com
Hyman is at her best with windswept landscapes, dark interiors, close portraiture, and imaginatively wicked creatures. Both art and history are charged with energy.-- The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
This is a story whose essentials--cleverness, bravery, and otherworldly happenings-- always attract readers.-- Booklist
This original story in the tradition of Yiddish tales about Hershel Ostropolier is welcome as a Hanukkah story and as a trickster tale. . . . Hyman's illustrations capture Hershel's humor and earthy, peasant quality. --The Horn Book
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