Reviews for Zigazak : A Magical Hanukkah Night


Booklist Monthly Selections - #1 September 2001
Ages 4-9. Roiling gray clouds in a wintry night sky and spear-tailed, humorously grotesque demons instantly put readers in mind of Kimmel's renowned Herschel and the Hanukkah Goblins (1989). This new tale, although not as complex as Herschel, is pleasing, nonetheless. Two devils determine to disrupt the Hanukkah celebration in the shtetl of Brisk. With the magical word zigazak, they cause arms and legs to sprout on spinning dreidles, send latkes flying through the air, ignite Hanukkah candles into exploding fireworks, and set musical instruments to playing themselves. Recognizing these phenomena as the work of evil spirits, the terrified townspeople run to their rabbi, whose wisdom saves the day. The text is safely boxed away from the devilry in double-page spreads in which intricately detailed art realistically depicts the furnishings, clothing, facial features, and even the townspeople's pets. Storytellers will have fun with the surprise ending. ((Reviewed September 1, 2001))Copyright 2001 Booklist Reviews

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2002 Spring
When two devils try to magically disrupt Hanukkah, the rabbi of the town outwits the tricksters and proves that there is good in all creatures, even devils. Scenes of antic chaos in the lively illustrations light up the pages of a sly, expertly paced holiday adventure. Copyright 2002 Horn Book Guide Reviews

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2001 September #4
In the most imaginative Hanukkah book this season, Kimmel (Gershon's Monster) peoples an old-world town with mischievous demons, easily alarmed villagers and a wise and crafty rabbi. The brio of the storytelling doesn't shy from a moral: "Sparks of goodness exist in all things, even in devils' tricks." Goodell (Mice Are Nice) portrays the demons as ugly monsters, the goofy gleam in their eyes only partially dampening their scariness, and his humans are mildly grotesque. A dark palette adds to the shiver-inducing effect. Ages 4-8. (Oct.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2001 October
PreS-Gr 2-When a pair of gleefully naughty devils creates havoc in the small town of Brisk at Hanukkah, the terrified townspeople all run to the rabbi's house for help. Far from being afraid, he is charmed and amused by the dancing dreidels, flying latkes, and exploding candles that the devils have concocted. After tricking them into giving the town Hanukkah gelt, the rabbi persuades them to turn themselves into cockroaches, which he then steps on. They disappear instead of being satisfyingly smooshed, but that's the only disappointment in this rollicking tale. The brevity of the breezy text and expressive humor of the illustrations make this a fine choice for Hanukkah storytimes.-E. M. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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