If Margaret Wise Brown were Jewish with a family that emigrated from Anatevka....
The subtitle aptly describes this latest lampoon of the classic bedtime story. In this outing, the bunny’s bedroom is invaded by a horde of relatives of all ages bearing food and gifts for Hanukkah. They speak in favorite Yiddish-laced phrases such as “A kiss on the keppelah!” and they cook up matzah ball soup and smear cream cheese on bagels. There’s some dancing and singing and “noshing on latkes.” In a possible children’s-book first, one of the couplets rhymes “bubbies” with “hubbies.” Oddly for a Hanukkah celebration, there is no recitation of the blessings on the lit menorah candles. A glossary of the Yiddish phrases is helpful. Most useful, actually, is a recipe from the popular cookbook author and TV cooking show host Ina Garten for potato pancakes. She uses butter, so no mixing these treats with the brisket. Adults may get a laugh or two from the text or, more likely, a faint glimmer of nostalgia. The bright colors do pay homage to the original book, although many of the spreads are overly busy with bunnies.
One reading will more than suffice for this knockoff. (author’s note) (Picture book. 5-8)