The Story of Hanukkah

  • Interest Level: Preschool - Grade 2
  • Reading Level: Grade 2

“Sometimes it only takes a few, who know what’s right and do it, too.”

Judah and the little army of Maccabees fight to free Jerusalem from the cruel King Antiochus in this vibrant and action-filled rhyming version of the famous Hanukkah story.

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Interest Level Preschool - Grade 2
Reading Level Grade 2
Genre Picture Books
Copyright 2010
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Kar-Ben Publishing ®
Language English
Number of Pages 32
Publication Date 2010-08-01
Text Type Fiction
BISACS JUV017110, JUV033020
Dewey 296.4'35
Graphics Full-color illustrations
Dimensions 10.375 x 8.875
ATOS Reading Level 3.2
Accelerated Reader® Quiz 151224
Accelerated Reader® Points 0.5
Features Author/Illustrator biography, Author/Illustrator note, Original artwork, and Reviewed

Author: Tilda Balsley

Tilda Balsley has written many books for Kar-Ben, bringing her stories to life with rhyme, rhythm, and humor. Tilda lives with her husband and their rescue Shih Tzu in Reidsville, North Carolina.

Illustrator: David Harrington

David Harrington attended and graduated from Art Center College of Design with a BFA in illustration, awarded with honors, in Pasadena, California. His art has been used in TV, film and video in addition to children's books. He lives in Laguna Hills, CA.



“From the comic book superhero-like illustrations to the heartfelt repeated chorus of ‘Sometimes it only takes a few/Who know what’s right, and do it, too,’ this wonderful rhyming retelling of the Chanukah story is sure to be a favourite of adventure-loving little girls and boys.”—Noodlenuts

Jewish Book World

The account is told in an accessible rhyme with a refrain “Sometimes it only takes a few,/who know what’s right and do it, too.” Children will relate to the bright, stylized, cartoon-like illustrations and the characters’ dramatic expressions.

The Horn Book Guide

“Appropriately for the Festival of Lights, Harrington’s use of light is the illustrations’ greatest strength.” —The Horn Book Guide

School Library Journal's Extra Helping

“With its ‘little engine that could’ vibe and comic book-style illustrations, Maccabee! is sure to entertain young readers as well as inform them on the origins of Hanukkah. Harrington’s bold art creates a sense of energy and determination while Balsley’s rhyming text urges the story on. An author’s note provides additional information on Hanukkah traditions.”—School Library Journal, Extra Helping

Library Media Connection

“This book is an enjoyable read-aloud and will appeal to students looking for Hanukkah material. The illustrations and text meld together very well to make this an appealing book with an engaging story that will captivate the reader. Recommended.” —Library Media Connection

Publishers Weekly

“The real draw is the high drama of Harrington’s sculptural illustrations and their superhero cartoon vibe, as the Maccabees fend off armored elephants and labor to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem.” —Publishers Weekly

We Are Teachers

“Looking for books that teach young readers the history of Hanukkah? This one does it through rhyme…and the rest is history.”―We Are Teachers