New eBook, WHO IS HANUKAH HESHIE? is Now Available
Winter Garden, FL
Every year, as the holiday season approaches, it often seems that the spirit and meaning of it all gets lost or obscured by the rush to buy gifts, and the sparkling abundance of lights and glittery décor. Of course part of the excitement and fun of the holidays is directly connected to shopping and pulling out boxes of decorations that will brighten up the home or office, but it's important to remember that the real magic lives within the stories and traditions that make this time of year special to so many. Jason Peltz, in his new book 'Who is Hanukah Heshie?' uses his well-honed and prolific artistic talent to tell the story of Hanukkah in a fun, meaningful, inclusive way that appeals to children, families and people of all faiths. Peltz is a talented artist who has brought familiar characters to life on the big screen as an animator for Disney, and currently works as a freelance illustrator and sculptor for clients including, among others, Disney/Pixar Publishing.
In large, colorful, illustrated scenes, Hanukah Heshie comes to life. Peltz's character is an older gent dressed in a scholarly cap and gown, and sporting a familiar white beard, friendly smile and twinkly eyes. As the story begins, the silhouette of Santa and his reindeer make a brief appearance and comparisons are made throughout the book to the universal symbolism and gift-giving aspects of the holiday season that are most often aligned with Christian tradition. Hanukah Heshie quickly transforms from his scholarly self to that of a whimsical blue-suited Santa-style character who is accompanied by a short, rhyming tale about the rituals associated with the celebration of Hanukkah.
There is no shortage of images that bring to mind not just the activities of the traditional large man in red, but also the spirit of giving and sharing that exists in many holiday traditions. Peltz shows us Heshie shopping for gifts, traveling by a candlelit Dreidel sleigh, and delivering presents that he leaves by the iconic menorah. The lively, spirited illustrations tell the story of a generous character who is friendly with the mythical elves at the North Pole but who also delivers a message about the history of the Jewish people he represents. "The book is fun and educational at the same time," says Peltz. "It's a great way for Jewish families to laugh and learn, and for non-Jewish families to learn of Jewish traditions and shared heritage."