Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Miracle Jar: A Hanukkah Story

The Miracle Jar: A Hanukkah Story

Audrey Penn
Illustrator:  Lea Lyon 
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Tanglewood Press, 2008   ISBN: 978-1933718163

Sophie, her brother Ruben and her parents live in a little cottage in the "Old Country." One day Sophie wakes up and she is full of excitement because that very night Hanukkah will begin. Sophie sweeps the floor and Reuben polishes the menorah, and these chores serve very well as gifts for their parents.

When their father comes home he tells them about the Hanukkah story, and the children learn why Jews light nine candles on their menorahs during the eight days of Hanukkah. They hear about the miracle that made it possible for the early Jews to keep their sacred temple menorah burning for eight days even though the Jews only had enough oil to burn it for one day.

Sophie and her family are also going to need a miracle, because it does not look as if they are not going to have enough oil to cook their Hanukkah treats for all eight nights of the holiday.

In this simple yet meaningful picture book Audrey Penn not only finds a way to tell her readers the story of the original Hanukkah miracle, but she also adds a more modern version of the story, a version that, in its domestic nature, is accessible and easy to relate to.