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THE MIRACLE JAR by Audrey Penn


A Hanukkah Story

by Audrey Penn & illustrated by Lea Lyon

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: Oct. 25th, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-933718-16-3
Publisher: Tanglewood Publishing

Eight-year-old Sophie and her family get ready to celebrate Hanukkah by cleaning their small cottage, preparing holiday treats and shining the menorah. The family needs a week’s worth of oil to light the candles and cook treats, however, unlikely with the amount left in the jar. With a snow storm keeping them home, they find ways to make the oil last for eight days, paralleling the miracle of the oil that lit the menorah after Judah and the Maccabees rededicated their sacred temple. Spare use and reuse of the oil they have provides seven nights of lights and traditional foods. On the eighth, Mother creatively uses a piece of cheesecloth to wipe the jar’s sides, recovering enough oil to coat the pan and make one apple pancake to share. The family gratefully acknowledges “the nicest gifts are the ones that surprise us the most.” Penn’s storytelling provides a real sense of the holiday’s significance through joyful, yet simple celebration while Lyon’s cheerful and energetic watercolors depict an “old country” environment. A nice addition to classic retellings. (Picture book. 4-7)