Local dad creates Hanukah alternative to Elf on the Shelf
Written by Tracey Velt
As an animator who worked at Disney for 10 years, Jason Peltz with Peltz Productions knows a thing or two about creating characters. So, when his daughters, Jadyn (7) and Jennavieve (4), begged for an Elf on the Shelf, Peltz convinced them that a plush Hanukah Mickey Mouse Ty Beanie Baby was a great alternative. “It worked for awhile. Our Hanukah Mickey would show up in places throughout the house. Mickey didn’t report back to Santa like the Elf on the Shelf, instead he reported back to mom and dad,” laughs Peltz.
Peltz says that Hanukah Mickey set his creative wheels in motion. “I wanted to develop a character that was educational and fun,” he says. Thus was born Hanukah Heshie and a book about Jewish holiday traditions. The book features Heshie, a lovable little guy who is feeling overshadowed by the “jolly man in red.” Heshie sits in a driedel-shaped sleigh that is pulled by candles from the Menorah. “Heshie teaches the traditions of the Jewish faith that not everyone knows about,” he says.
While there is no plush Hanukah Heshie yet, Peltz hopes to expand on the story and create a plush figure that is similar to the popular Elf on the Shelf.
The book is a hit at home and characters in the book are modeled after his children. “My kids love it. They come into my home office and take turns learning how to draw Hanukah Heshie,” he says.
The book is currently available as an ebook (for iPad or Tablets) on Amazon.com. However, a print book will soon be available to purchase through Peltz’ website: www.peltzproductions.com.
“I’d love to see Hanukah Heshie sitting right next to the Elf on the Shelf in all the major stores.”