Fall 2023

A Wild, Wild Hanukkah

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

On the first night of Hanukkah, the door flies open and a perky polar bear walks into the house, shaking the snow from his fur. On the second night of Hanukkah, two crusty, crying crocodiles peel onions, followed the next night by three toothy tigers who’ve come to pluck potatoes from a sack. Every night more wild animals join the party, singing, making latkes, and spinning dreidels. As Hanukkah comes to an end, the stars twinkle, and the candles burn out. Then it’s time for bed.

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Interest Level Preschool - Grade 2
Reading Level Grade 2
Genre Picture Books
Copyright 2023
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Kar-Ben Publishing ®
Language English
Number of Pages 32
Publication Date 2023-10-03
Text Type Fiction
BISACS JUV017110, JUV057000, JUV002000
Dewey [E]
Dimensions 9.25 x 11
Features Awards, Original artwork, and Reviewed

Author, Illustrator: Jo Gershman

When she was a little girl, Jo Gershman dreamed of illustrating picture books and of having a pony. Years later, she feels incredibly fortunate that both dreams have come true. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, two cats, and a lovely Morgan mare. You can see more of her work at www.jogershman.com.

Author: Bob Strauss

Bob Strauss has written numerous books and articles about science, nature, and popular culture. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and children.


  • Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC) Choices 2024, Winner, 2024


Publishers Weekly

“Painterly, fanciful art captures the richness of feathers, fur, and scales, as well as the comedic chaos of an ever-more-crowded house. Gershman and Strauss end with a rousing Hanukkah countdown . . .”—Publishers Weekly

School Library Journal

“The fantastical art is striking. A pleasant addition for libraries in search of unusual Hanukkah stories.”―School Library Journal

Kirkus Reviews

“A madcap Hanukkah celebration for a skillful reader.”―Kirkus Reviews

Association of Jewish Libraries

“An upbeat addition to the growing selection of Hanukkah stories, this will be a useful choice for story times and reading at home.”―Association of Jewish Libraries

Sydney Taylor Shmooze

“A lovable rhyming tale of different wild animals invading a home each night of Hanukkah. A rollicking read-aloud and a treat for the eyes.”—Sydney Taylor Shmooze

Jewish Book Council

“Through beau­ti­ful lan­guage and illus­tra­tions, this book intro­duces live­ly char­ac­ters whose faces express humor and cheer…They also cel­e­brate by read­ing a book―just like us, when we pore over these fun pages.”―Jewish Book Council

We Are Teachers

“The animals come to life in this beautifully illustrated Hanukkah book.”―We Are Teachers

Book Riot

“This gorgeously illustrated picture book for animal lovers feels like it could become a Hanukkah classic. A funny and delightful Hanukkah read.”―Book Riot