The Ugly Menorah

January 1996


A Hanukkah story that emphasizes the importance of remembering On the first Hanukkah since Rachel’s grandpa died, Rachel is keeping her grandma company. “Where is your menorah, Grandma?” Rachel asks. When Grandma points to a plain wooden board with tin cylinders, Rachel can’t help crying, “It’s so ugly!” Then Rachel listens as Grandma tells the menorah’s history, and Grandpa seems to fill the house again. That night, when Grandma lights the candles, the experience is intensified — and the menorah is transformed. In gentle words and pictures that weave together past and present, Marissa Moss creates a warm family story with a timeless theme.

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Midwest Book Review

It’s the first Hanukkah since Rachel’s grandfather died, and Rachel is appalled at her grandmother’s ugly homemade menorah – until she learns about the love it represents. Moss’ picturebook holds many words and parents may have to read aloud to the very young – but the story’s engrossing and thought-provoking, lending to family holiday discussion. –This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

“[A] warmhearted family tale.” –School Library Journal

“Moss stays true to the perspective of the young Rachel with such an unerring eye that the feeling that this is a true family story is very strong.” – The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books