A family of latkes prepares for Hanukkah.
The members of the Latke family are all potato pancakes, even their dog, Applesauce. As Hanukkah approaches, daughter Lucy greets readers while her parents fry jelly doughnuts, her older brother holes up in his room being a teenager, and Grandpa disrupts the holiday by offering up an alternate spelling: “CHHA-nukah!” Applesauce explains that both can be correct. The usual celebrations continue, with all participating except for the teenager. And then Grandpa commences to tell the story of the holiday with his own twist. It was not the Maccabees who fought for freedom, it was bees: “MEGA-BEES!” Applesauce tries to correct this version, but Grandpa continues. The enemy was not Antiochus: It was “ALIEN POTATOES FROM PLANET CHHHHH!” And while the Maccabees were low on oil, the Mega-Bees are low on honey. Also in this revised account is a giant dreidel that calls to mind the Trojan horse and from which the Mega-Bees emerge to “[mash] those tater tyrants into tatters.” Add the usual ingredients and you have, of course, “POTATO LATKES!” Silverberg’s narration brings to mind a Borscht Belt routine that may be appreciated by some adult readers but is just as likely to cause confusion among its audience. His digital illustrations depict latkes that resemble brown blobs and only add to the general muddlement.
Better stories about Hanukkah abound. (author’s note, glossary) (Picture book. 3-6)