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.
An Adventure in Latkaland
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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