By: Jane Sutton
Illustrated by: Andy Rowland
Publisher: Kar-Ben Publishing
Publication Date: August 2013
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: November 2013
Oh, my! Esther the purple gorilla was in trouble because she forgot all about shopping for Hanukkah. She did have a shopping list prepared, but there wasn’t anything on it for her friends. “Bananas, bananas, bananas, leaves, bananas.” That would never do because not everyone wanted that sort of thing for Hanukkah. Well, maybe Sarah who was a monkey, but certainly not Hal who was a hyena. No that would never do. Off to the Jungle Store she went to shop for those very special Hanukkah gifts, or so Esther thought they were special. She wheeled her bamboo cart right to the clothing department and began to shop. “What unusual socks!” Into the cart they went. Esther rushed thought the store finding Hanukkah gifts that were sure to please.
She smiled, giggled, and laughed out loud as she read 100 Jokes about Elephants, something that Oscar the elephant would certainly love. After she wrapped her gifts in pretty in pink paper, Esther “lit the shamash candle and said the special blessing.” After the two candles in her menorah had burned down “it was time for Esther to deliver her presents.” Things began to go terribly wrong. The socks were too big and those elephant jokes were in very bad taste. Was there anything Esther could do to make up for her mistakes?
This is the hilarious tale of Esther the purple gorilla and her near disastrous Hanukkah gifts. Esther had forgotten all about Hanukkah and in her haste to shop, she didn’t think about her friends’ need. The funniest one, of course, was when she handed Oscar that book of elephant jokes. “There should be a law against elephant jokes,” he declared. The charming twist at the end fortunately gets Esther out of her Hanukkah dilemma. The artwork is bold, colorful, and has just the right touch of zany to please the young reader. In the back of the book is a brief discussion about Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights.
Quill says: Young readers are sure to laugh at the zany, near disastrous Hanukkah shopping experience of Esther, the purple gorilla!