Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Borrowed Hanukkah Latkes

The Borrowed Hanukkah Latkes

Linda Glaser
Illustrator:  Nancy Cote 
Picture Book
For ages 6 to 8
Albert Whitman & Company, 1997   ISBN: 978-0807508428

It is the last night of Hanukkah, and all of Rachel’s relatives are coming to Rachel’s house to celebrate. Mama has made her delicious latkes, and Papa is laying the table. Then the phone rings and Mama talks to Mirriam, who asks if she can bring Aunt Tilly and her grandchildren. Of course Mama says yes. Now Mama needs to make latkes for an additional eight people.

Rachel goes down into the cellar to get potatoes but there are only three rather sad looking potatoes left. The store will be closed so they cannot buy more. Rachel suggests that she go and ask Mrs. Greenberg if they can borrow some potatoes from her, but Mama does not want to bother the old lady.

Every year Rachel’s Mama invites Mrs. Greenberg to join their Hanukkah celebration, and every year the old lady refuses because she does not want to be “a bother.” Rachel suggests that perhaps Mrs. Greenberg will agree to come to the party if she contributes the potatoes. Mama agrees that it is worth a try, and Rachel goes to Mrs. Greenberg’s house. What Rachel does to expect is that Mrs. Greenberg is a very stubborn lady.

In this delightful holiday story we see how a clever little girl finds a way to share her family’s holiday celebration with someone else. The best holiday gatherings are often the ones that we share with others.