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’Twas the eighth day of Hanukkah…

last day of hanukkah 2

’Twas the eighth day of Hanukkah. (Chanukah? Well,
it’s easy to celebrate, harder to spell.)
The table was covered in relics of wax,
and presents long-opened were sitting in stacks.
The gelt was just wrappers. The dreidels were spun.
The Maccabees’ moment was quite nearly done.
Then off near the shelves, there arose such a clatter—
of reindeer? Or books falling? Surely the latter.
And which books had landed? I swear, it’s empirical:
all of the books, in a Hanukkah miracle
happened to focus on candles in sets,
on dreidels! On latkes! On nights in octets!
The Ugly Menorah, and Chanukah Lights,
a popup whose popups pop up to great heights.
I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Dreidel
to read ’round the classroom or sing ’round the cradle.
And Snicket’s The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming
for those who think nightmares make excellent dreaming.
Then, jackpot! I felt like I’d just spun a gimmel!
On Herschel! On goblins! On Eric A. Kimmel!
The sun was descending. The holiday ended
with stories remembered and reads recommended.
Non-holiday days? We’d just have to endure ‘em
until Tu B’Shvat, then again until Purim.
Before the sun dips all the way out of sight,
happy Hanukkah, all, and to all a good night!


With apologies to Clement C. Moore. See more recommended Hanukkah books.

Shoshana Flax About Shoshana Flax

Shoshana Flax, assistant editor for The Horn Book, Inc., is a former bookseller and holds an MFA in Writing for Children from Simmons College. She is a member of the Sydney Taylor Book Award committee.

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