An Adven­ture in Latkaland

Karen Fis­man; Thomas McA­teer, illus.
  • Review
By – September 19, 2011

It is refresh­ing to find an illus­trat­ed chap­ter book with a Hanukah theme. In 10 short chap­ters, Fis­man cre­ates the imag­i­na­tive world of Latka­land. With the arrival of a mag­ic drei­dl and the utter­ance of Nes Gadol Hayah Sham”, young Sarah and Jacob are trans­port­ed to a fan­ta­sy land inhab­it­ed by Oily” and oth­er strange look­ing lat­ka mak­ers. Once in Latka­land, Sarah and Jacob join forces with these Lunchkins” to foil the Hanukah gob­lins. The Hanukah gob­lins are boil­ing all the pota­toes that are used for latkes and destroy­ing the Lunchkins’ abil­i­ty to fry them to make the tra­di­tion­al pan­cakes. The cIhil­dren encour­age the Lunchkins to be like the Mac­cabees who were fear­less and believed in them­selves.” Their bat­tles and their tri­umphs are won­der­ful read­ing for young chil­dren, with just enough sus­pense to keep them inter­est­ed. The sto­ry is accom­pa­nied by col­or­ful water­col­or illus­tra­tions and maps that enhance the sto­ry. Addi­tion­al­ly, the end of the book con­tains two recipes — one for latkes and one for a jujube drei­dl. This book is per­fect for an emerg­ing chap­ter book read­er or for a par­ent to read to a child as a fan­ci­ful bed­time sto­ry. For ages 5 – 8.

Marge Kaplan is a retired Eng­lish as a Sec­ond Lan­guage teacher. She is a con­sul­tant for the children’s lit­er­a­ture group for the Roseville, MN school sys­tem and is a sto­ry­teller of Jew­ish tales.

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