Queen of the Hanukkah Dosas

Pamela Ehren­berg; Anjan Sarkar, illus.

  • Review
By – May 16, 2017

Instead of fry­ing latkes for Hanukkah, the mixed-her­itage (Jew­ish and Indi­an) fam­i­ly in this sto­ry cel­e­brates the hol­i­day with dosas, which are sim­i­lar to blintzes as well as oth­er Indi­an dish­es. But how will the fam­i­ly enjoy the hol­i­day feast when they are acci­den­tal­ly locked out of the house just before din­ner? For­tu­nate­ly, lit­tle Sophie crawls through an open win­dow and unlocks the front door. The fam­i­ly and guests are gath­ered, the meno­rah is lit, the bless­ings are recit­ed, and the still-warm dosas are eaten.

Many details in the illus­tra­tions — from the Indi­an grandmother’s sari, to the Indi­an and Jew­ish dec­o­ra­tions and art objects, to the beau­ti­ful end­pa­pers depict­ing an array of Indi­an foods and spices — show a respect and appre­ci­a­tion for the blend­ed cultures.

Recipes for dosas and sam­bar (a lentil-based dish) are also included. 

Susan Kan­tor was a senior writer/​editor for Girl Scouts of the USA, a chil­dren’s book edi­tor, and a past judge for the Nation­al Jew­ish Book Awards in the illus­trat­ed children’s book cat­e­go­ry. She is a writer and a docent at the Rubin Muse­um in New York City, where she leads pub­lic and pri­vate tours.

Discussion Questions