cover image Latkes and Applesauce: A Hanukkah Story

Latkes and Applesauce: A Hanukkah Story

Fran Manushkin. Scholastic, $12.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-590-42261-1

In old Poland, Papa, Mama and children Rebecca and Ezra are surprised by an early blizzard on the first night of Hanukkah. Unable to dig up potatoes for latkes or pick apples for applesauce, they huddle in a darkened room lit only by the shammes and the first candle on the menorah. Over the next two nights, the family gives shelter to a stray dog and a bedraggled kitten. On the holiday's last night, the sky finally clears and they all venture outdoors. The dog miraculously digs up buried potatoes; Papa, rescuing the cat from a tree, discovers some apples. The family can now feast on the traditional holiday foods while they enjoy their new pets--Latke the dog and Applesauce the cat. Written in evocative Yiddish-inflected language, this is a pleasing addition to the holiday bookshelf. Spowart's soft, blurred pastels give the story an added sense of warmth and security. Included are an afterword on the ``Story of Hanukkah,'' a latke recipe and instructions on how to play dreidel. Ages 3-7. (Oct.)