Lanton's (Daddy's Chair) bland paper-over-board tale asks children to identify with its elderly characters, one of whom (Rivka Leah) invites four others to a Hanukkah party and asks each to bring something to go along with the latkes she'll be serving. Moshe, who has a cow, plans to make sour cream; Chana, who tends an orchard, signs up for the apple sauce; and so on. Moshe's cow kicks over the cream; Chana's apples all prove rotten; and so on once again, until all four friends, not wanting to show up empty-handed, present Rivka Leah with their own batches of latkes. Redenbaugh's (Button, Bucket, Sky) illustrations are inconsistent in their characterizations, and nearly as flat as the plotting. Ages 3-8. (Sept.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
There's more than one way to have a "bring something along to go with the latkes" Hanukkah party, Rivka Leah finds when her guests all run into problems with their intended offerings. Moshe the Milkman can not bring sour cream because the cow kicks over the cream pail; Chana, who has a fruit orchard, can not bring applesauce because her apples have turned rotten; Avrom the Fisherman can not bring fish to fry because they are not biting that day; and Manya the Baker can not bring jelly donuts because the mice have gotten into her sugar. No harm done, though, because a festive spirit will find a way to make a happy holiday celebration, and each guest pulls out a talent to create a wonderful evening for all. The pastel pictures of the "faraway village nestled between two tall mountains" are charming, with their old-fashioned stoves, sinks and cellars; but I could have done without all the mice running around everywhere, realistic though it may have been at that time and place. 2003, Kar-Ben, Ages 3 to 7.
— Judy Chernak
- Judy Chernak
Hanging from a spider web gives Sammy a terrific view of everything that goes on in the Shapiro household. Right now, Josh and his mother are making all kinds of strange noises and doing all kinds of unusual things. "MOTHER!" Sammy keeps screaming, "WHAT ARE THEY DOING? WHAT ARE THEY MAKING? CAN I SPIN A GROGGER, TOO?" And his long-suffering mom keeps answering in some variety of "Lower your voice, Sammy. Spiders spin webs, not groggers." It's a familiar situation for both pre-schoolers, who love noisy activities and the sound of their own voices, and parents/teachers, who must beg for lower decibels in order to answer the many questions about upcoming holidays. Curious Sammy ends up inside Josh's grogger, buffeted by the racket-producing buttons stapled in with him, a situation quite reminiscent of the classic K'tonton, who similarly ends up in a hamantash in Sadie Rose Weilerstein's old familiar stories. Kahn's bright pictures are first-rate, with a collage look and eye-popping color to go with the ear-popping noise of the story. Sammy's ultimate compliment from his staple-picking mother is, "YOU ARE OUR VERY OWN NOISEMAKER!" And ours to the illustrator could be, "MY EYES NEED A REST NOW, THANK YOU!"
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-Long ago in a faraway village, an old woman invites her friends to a Hanukkah dinner. Each guest plans to bring something to share-sour cream, applesauce, fish, and jelly doughnuts-but a series of mishaps results in each of them contributing latkes instead. The friends have a good time anyway, celebrating the holiday with a dreidel, songs, dancing -and lots of latkes. Cartoon illustrations in soft colors are appropriate for the lighthearted story. Use this as a read-aloud in library, family, and Jewish school settings.-V. W. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.