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Meet the Latkes

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  187 ratings  ·  52 reviews
Imagine James Marshall's The Stupids celebrating Hanukkah, and you'd get the Latke family!

Lucy Latke's family is just like yours or mine. Except that they're potato pancakes. And also, they are completely clueless. After lighting the menorah and gobbling the gelt, Grandpa Latke tells everyone the Hanukkah story, complete with mighty Mega Bees who use a giant dreidel to fig
Hardcover, 36 pages
Published October 16th 2018 by Viking Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 3.80  · 
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 ·  187 ratings  ·  52 reviews

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Nov 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Readers Looking for Humorous Hanukkah Tales
The Hanukkah story meets Star Trek in this hilarious new picture-book from author/artist Alan Silberberg, with a little bit of the Trojan War thrown in for good measure. As the clueless Latke Family celebrates the Festival of Lights, Grandpa Latke proceeds to tell little Lucy the tale of how Judah and the Mega-Bees fought off the Alien Potatoes from Planet Chhhhh, who were determined to destroy the Jewish people and their temple. Lucy's dog Applesauce struggles to tell the real story, but Grandp ...more
Paul  Hankins
The working formula to get someone to open up and learn about something unfamiliar reads like this:




In MEET THE LATKES, Alan Silberberg has the reading laughing before they have even had an opportunity to stop and think, "Wait, what's a latke?" The working magic of this new picture book seems to be in the ability to get the reader to look at another reader and say, "Wait, you don't know either?" Now, those who know will be on the reference, and this is where Alan Silberberg shows us
In my family, we tell the story of Chanuka every night of the holiday before lighting the candles, a holdover from when my sisters and I were little and our parents wanted us to know what we were celebrating. Last night, the first night of Chanuka 5781 (2020), my mother read this instead. (Possibly this was an attempt to scale back my father's and my attempts to outdo each other with historical accuracy in the retelling. We've been told we may no longer go further back in time than Philip of Mac ...more
Miriam Udel
Nov 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This may be a better Hanukkah book than we deserve right now: it is clever, lively, whimsical, and engaging. Since receiving my copy about 2 weeks ago, I have read it approximately twenty times with my two-year-old. His older brother, who knows the story of Hanukkah quite well, often happens along and enjoys the book too. Kids love it when adults get things "wrong," and this wacky, counterfactual, comic-book inflected retelling of the Hanukkah story is a great chance for kids to set the record s ...more
Nov 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
I liked the illustrations but I felt it was too long for preschoolers, maybe for older kindergarteners it would be ok.
Nov 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I wish I'd had this book when I was a kid. It's the story of Chanukah -- as told by a hilarious family of LATKES! It's not only the funniest book I've ever read about Chanukah it's one of the funniest books I've ever read period. My daughter, who is 5, was in hysterics and immediately wanted to read it again and again. When I asked her what she thought she said "It's so funny! And it teaches you about the miracle of Chanukah." And bonus, the drawings are every bit as hilarious as the story. Agai ...more
Dec 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is probably the best Hanukkah (or CHHHHHHA-nukah) book I've ever read. A family of latkas (and their dog) are getting ready for the holiday -- playing dreidel, making sufganiyot and putting up decorations. Then grandpa decides to tell lil' Lucy Latka about the story behind the holiday, and his version goes a bit off the rails.

It ends with grandpa promising to tell the story of Passover next, and I genuinely do hope that Silberberg is actually planning a Passover sequel. Or, ooo, Purim. Tha
Mary Lee
I'm curious what a Jewish reader thinks of a picture book that pokes so much fun at Chanukah... ...more
Susan Morris
Dec 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s
A very humorous look at Hanukkah, but I did learn more about the observance! (Library)
Andrea Doyon
Oct 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids-books
Ever wondered about the different pronunciations of (C)hanukah? This funny spin on the origins of the holiday will answer that conundrum and more. The cast of characters are just what the title says: a family of Latkes! Grandpa Latke gives his slightly off-kilter version of the Jewish holiday, but don't worry the family dog sets him straight in the end. Great picture book for kids K-3. It will make a wonderful Chhhhhaunkah gift! ...more
Oct 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I think I just found my new favorite Hanukkah story!! Absolutely hilarious. It will be funnier if you already have a basic understanding of Hanukkah. Recommended for grades K and up.
Sep 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Totally absurd, totally fun, and very educational! A great book to share with all kids (and adults like me!) interested in learning more about Hanukkah, whether they are Jewish or not. A helpful list in the back of the book helps readers keep track of all the key terms.
Alex  Baugh
Dec 01, 2018 rated it liked it
If you are looking for something a little more lighthearted for your younger readers, this book might be of interest. A family of latkes - mom, dad, brother Lex, younger sister Lucy and her dog Applesauce - are all ready to celebrate Hanukkah. Well, not teenager Lex, he just wants to stay in his room and read comic books. After the menorah is lit, there's dreidels to be spun, and gelt to be eaten, and the Hanukkah story to be told - with alien digressions, of course. This feels like the world's ...more
Ben Truong
Dec 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Meet the Latkes is a children's picture book written and illustrated by Alan Silberberg. It is a Hanukkah or Chanukkah story about a family of Latkes.

The text is simplistic, straightforward, and rather hilarious. It is a story about a family of Latkes – potato pancakes celebrating the first night of Hanukkah by making jelly doughnuts – they are Latkes after all. The illustrations are wonderfully depicted, a tad too cartoonish for my taste, but what should I expected about a family of Latkes? Reg
The Latke family is preparing to celebrate Hanukkah (or Chanukah) ... well almost the whole family. Lex, the older brother, is reading comic books. “I don’t care!” Lucy and her dog, Applesauce, are excited though. Grandpa Latke is anxious to tell Lucy the story of Chanukah ... but he gets a few things wrong along the way. And while Applesauce tries to correct him, Grandpa forges ahead with his story of Mega Bees and Alien Potatoes from Planet CHHHHH. But in the end, the biggest Chanukah miracle ...more
I am so torn with this book. It's a really funny and silly explanation of Chanukah. Or do you say Hanukkah? But it is also reminiscent of the stories from Chelm, so it feels really fitting. The mis-heard words crack me up. I think lots of kids who celebrate Hanukkah, will love the humor. Maybe I'm on the fence because my Hanukkah history is limited so I have to untwist the humor for the history to get it. Maybe I need to ask a kid to explain. It all to me. Worth the read, still laughing about th ...more
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, litreviewcrew
I won this book through a Twitter Giveaway and I decided to include it in our Lit Review Crew. It is a new book, just released in October, and comes at a perfect time. It is a hilarious story of Hanukkah with enough humor to make it entertaining, but not too much so that it takes away from the seriousness of this holiday. I believe that those who celebrate Hanukkah would enjoy reading this story with the silly grandpa and moody teenager. Also, those that are not familiar with Hanukkah would lear ...more
Amanda Brooke
I love this book - but I am not Jewish and the pronunciations of Hebrew vocabulary was hard. I needed a cheat sheet - I used YouTube and could not find how the two spellings of Hanukkah were different. Was it an age thing? What was grandpa trying to say? Maybe someone can explain this to me.
I recorded myself reading it - along with my mangled Hebrew and my students will start watching it the first night of Hanukkah this year. I hope to hear about how tasty latkes are after that.
Lena Troxtell
Dec 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Alan Silberberg does a great job explaining Hanukkah is a fun loving story with a family anyone can connect with. I am excited to share this book with my kids as we talk about different holidays that are celebrated in the month of December. I love how Grandpa Latka gets Applesauce all worked up but keeps Lucy entertained as he goes. Wonderful book for all ages!
Nov 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I like this book because this kid is BORED and he never does anything but eat dinner (I think) and maybe has dinner at this school (like we do on special occasions) and the grandpa says CHanukah instead of Hanukkah.
Dec 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Cute, though more amusing than informative for those who are looking for a book for little ones to learn about Hanukkah. I think that this would be best enjoyed by an audience already at least a bit familiar with the story of Hanukkah.

Thanks to Penguin Young Readers for the review copy.
Dec 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Hilarious, original, clever take on the Hanukkah story. May be confusing to students who don't have a firm grasp on the actual facts of Hanukkah, but for those that know the story well, this is a riot of a book! ...more
Dec 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was at my book fair so I decided to take a look. It's very cute. A silly story with some facts and history mixed in (shared by the dog, no less). I was a bit turned off by the stereotypical teen, but otherwise a fun read if you're looking for a Hanukkah book. ...more
Dec 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Potatoes are the characters who in some ways are contemporary (the "I'm not interested" teen) and traditional (Grandpa who keeps the story accurate). Colorful cartoon illustrations in bold colors and strokes add humor as the reader learns the traditions of Hanukkah. ...more
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a funny book that explains the background of Hanukkah. I read it to my first graders, and they thought it was pretty funny, although I think some of the flow of the narrative was a little confusing for them because of the almost-comic style of some of the pages.
Mrs Heidrich
Dec 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books, 2019
A fun way to learn about and be able to share another holiday with kids. It is somewhat text heavy, so maybe not for very small kids. Liked the addition of the one page historical summary in the back as well.
Nov 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Grandpa Latke thinks he knows the story of Hannukah, but the family dog, Applesauce, is there to set him straight. This is less of an educational book, and instead a comical one that relies on some basic knowledge of hannukah and its traditions.
Raven Black
Dec 22, 2020 rated it liked it
A good story about the true meaning of the holiday. However, I was looking for something more serious with humor and not almost all humor with a little seriousness. The illustrations are not to my personal tastes, but they fit the theme and tone of the book perfectly.
Mary Anne
Nov 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Wicked funny, great illustrations and I think I learned something about history and freedom of religion.
Jami Sailor
Dec 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
tells the story of hanukkah
kinda boring
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