This beautiful edition of a Hanukkah classic comes with all new art and substantial back matter, which includes the story of Hanukkah and an explanation of the widespread custom of eating latkes with applesauce and playing the dreidel.
The story is simple and charming. A loving family with two young children attempts to celebrate Hanukkah, but a blizzard rages outside their snug home. Everything is covered in snow, including their potato patch and trees. They can’t dig potatoes for latkes or pick apples for applesauce. Their larder is bare, and they are hungry.
Two pets, a fuzzy dog and a fluffy kitten, are lost in the storm, and they seek shelter in the family’s warm, brightly lit house. They rescue the pets and the pets, in turn, save Hanukkah by uncovering the potatoes and apples from the snow. The parents, children, and pets can now feast on a meal of delicious fried latkes accompanied by sweet, fresh applesauce. But the new pets need names. What could be more appropriate than a dog named Latke and a kitten named Applesauce? Young readers will be reminded that when they care for others, their kindness will be returned.
The gently colored art is reminiscent of a folktale. It features a family with realistic facial expressions situated in a lush and dreamy environment, enhancing an altogether satisfying tale.
Michal Hoschander Malen is the editor of Jewish Book Council’s young adult and children’s book reviews. A former librarian, she has lectured on topics relating to literacy, run book clubs, and loves to read aloud to her grandchildren.