Do we need another juvenile Hanukkah book? The answer is definitively yes, in the case of this lovely new dog-centric book which gives a unique perspective on the holiday. An adorable newly adopted puppy has been rescued from an animal shelter on the first night of Hanukkah and joins all his new family’s celebrations. Latke manages to continuously behave somewhat inappropriately, thinking the delicious treats on the table and counter are for him, and the presents are his to unwrap. Fortunately, despite this, he is treated with lots of affection by his new family. Hoping he won’t be sent back to the animal shelter, he tries to improve his behavior.
Many symbols of the holiday appear in the colorful and age-appropriate illustrations: donuts, menorah, gifts wrapped in Jewish star wrapping paper, latkes, dreidels, applesauce, candles, and chocolate money abound. The illustrator loves to draw foxes and dogs, and she conveys warm feelings toward the sensitive pet. The Hebrew sufganiyot is used to describe donuts and the Yiddish words gelt and latkes also appear. On the page following the story there is a paragraph detailing the history and customs of Hanukkah.
This sweet holiday story, told with humor, is perfect for the youngest listener through beginning reader. Recommended for ages 3 – 7.