This Saturday (Dec. 2) at sundown, Jewish families around the world will light a candle on their menorahs to signal the start of Hanukkah. This eight-day celebration is thousands of years old, and features plenty of fun traditions like spinning the dreidel, exchanging presents and eating tasty traditional foods. Still, plenty of folks don’t know the story of how the Festival of Lights came to be. Whether you’re raising your family in the Jewish faith, or you simply want to educate your children about different religions, pick up a copy of Meet the Latkes for a fun retelling of the Hanukkah story.
Meet the Latkes tells the story of the Latke family (yes, they are all crispy potato pancakes) as they prepare for the annual Festival of Lights. Lucy Latke loves Hanukkah, but she doesn’t know much about its history. Grandpa Latke tells everyone the story of the holiday, which is about “mega bees” (the Maccabees) who “buzzed and stung to keep our people safe” against “alien potatoes” (King Antiochus). Thankfully, the family dog Applesauce is there to clear up the confusion and share the true story behind Hanukkah.
Meet the Latkes is the debut picture book by Alan Silberberg, a cartoonist, author and TV creator at Disney and Nickelodeon. (He’s also a self-proclaimed latke lover.) Featuring vibrant illustrations of Grandpa’s crazy holiday tale and some real-deal fun facts about Hanukkah, the book is a fun and useful tool for teaching kids about the Jewish holiday.
Meet the Latkes, by Alan Silberberg
VIKING | Penguin Young Readers