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Latke, the Lucky Dog

Latke, the Lucky Dog

4.0 1
by Ellen Fischer, Tiphanie Beeke (Illustrator)

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Celebrate Hanukkah with one lucky dog!


Celebrate Hanukkah with one lucky dog!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A rescue dog, named for his fur’s resemblance to potato pancakes, is having a rough time making the transition to his new home after he is rescued from a shelter by a family as a Hanukkah gift. Latke doesn’t just eat all the actual latkes, he slobbers on the gelt and chews up the menorah candles. “I’m the right dog,” he thinks. “I love it here. I just need to learn the rules.” By the eighth night, Latke has his head in the game and feels secure in his family’s love. Beeke’s (Some Bunny To Talk To) sprightly illustrations keep the mood of Fischer’s (If an Armadillo Went to a Restaurant) story light even in Latke’s darkest moments, but not having the humans take any responsibility for training him feels like a missed opportunity. Ages 2–7. Illustrator’s agency: MB Artists. (Sept.)
Kirkus Reviews
A rescued dog chosen as a Hanukkah present at an animal shelter relates his good luck as he learns to adapt to his new family and home. Zoe and Zach welcome their new pet, a playful, medium-sized, golden-brown dog, and name him Latke (he's exactly the color of one). The newest member of the family assumes all the celebratory aspects of the eight-day Hanukkah holiday are just for him and innocently creates a mild disturbance on each night. Latke eats the sufganiyot and latkes, rips open presents, chews up the dreidels and candles, slobbers all over the chocolate gelt and knocks the bowl of applesauce over. With each mishap, Zoe and Zach find a way to forgive, letting the curious new dog know he is very fortunate indeed. Ever remorseful, Latke finally accepts his own gift of a chew toy and understands he is one lucky dog to be part of a great family. Latke relates his own story, folding his innocent misdeeds into the basic structure of the eight nights of remembrance. Simple, childlike gouache scenes favor the star of the story, a sweet and personable mutt sporting floppy black ears against a brown happy face. He has rather more personality than the overall presentation, which cannot shed its inherent didacticism. Though it's fairly unoriginal at its core, this story's charismatic star will have appeal in dog-loving households. (Picture book. 3-5)
School Library Journal
PreS-K—A family rescues a golden brown dog from the animal shelter and names it Latke in honor of the beginning of Hanukkah. Each successive night, he gets in a bit of trouble, eating a platter of sufganiyot (fried donuts), tearing open presents, chewing up candles, and drooling on the Hanukkah gelt, and each night the family gets a little mad and then forgives him. A new pet is a growing experience for both the family and the pup, and the narration focuses on Latke's gratitude for being taken in ("I am one lucky dog!"), even as he hopes not to lose the family's affection while learning to function in their home. He is adorable, fluffy, and expressive, and Beeke's sunny palette and childlike illustrative style keep things light. This is a pleasant Hanukkah title, with the bonus of nicely conveying that the rescued animal is a lucky dog indeed. A brief description of the holiday is included.—Teri Markson, Los Angeles Public Library

Product Details

Kar-Ben Publishing
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
9.90(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.40(d)
AD440L (what's this?)
Age Range:
2 - 5 Years

Read an Excerpt

Latke, the Lucky Dog

By Ellen Fischer, Tiphanie Beeke

Kar-Ben Publishing

Copyright © 2014 Ellen Fischer
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-7613-9038-1


I am one lucky dog! Imagine a mutt like me picked as a Hanukkah present.

It happened one day in December when a family walked into the shelter. A mom, a dad and two kids-Zoe and Zach.

Zach said, "I want a big dog."

Uh-oh, I thought. I'm not big.

But Zoe said, "I want a little dog that'll fit in my doll stroller."

I tried to curl up as small as possible, but I'm not little.

Then Mom said," Let's compromise and look for a medium-sized dog."

Yep! That's me. I danced around and wagged my tail. Finally they noticed me.

Dad said, "Look at this one. He's playful, medium-sized, and golden brown, like a fried latke."

And that's how it happened. They took me home on the first Night of Hanukkah and named me Latke. I am one lucky dog!

As we came into the kitchen, something smelled delicious.

This is my home, I thought, so I hopped up on a chair and helped myself.

But Zoe said, "Latke ate all the sufganiyot!"

Then Zach patted me on the Head and said, "Poor, hungry Latke. They didn't feed you enough at that shelter, did they?"

Thanks, Zach.

I am one lucky dog!


Excerpted from Latke, the Lucky Dog by Ellen Fischer, Tiphanie Beeke. Copyright © 2014 Ellen Fischer. Excerpted by permission of Kar-Ben Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Ellen Fischer, not blue and furry, or as cute and loveable as Grover, was born in St. Louis. Following graduation from Washington University, she taught children with special needs, then ESL (English as a Second Language) at a Jewish Day School. She lives in Greensboro, North Carolina with her husband. They have three children.

Tiphanie Beeke is an illustrator living and working in the south of France. She specializes in the children's book market and her works can also be seen in educational magazines and on stationery and textiles. Tiphanie has her MA from the Royal College of Art in London.

Kirby Heyborne has received critical acclaim for his starring role in the award-winning World War II drama Saints and Soldiers. He has had starring roles in eight other features and two short films, and has also appeared on the WB's Everwood and many national commercials. He has garnered rave reviews for his narration for Books on Tape over the years and is considered one of the finest narrators working today.

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Latke, the Lucky Dog 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
FeatheredQuillBookReviews More than 1 year ago
Latke really is one very lucky dog! Saved from a shelter by a loving family, he’s brought into their lives and truly enjoys his new home. Unfortunately, he enjoys it a little too much and after getting in more trouble than one dog should, he’s afraid his family might return him to the shelter. As the story opens, Zoe, her brother Zach, and their parents have gone to the animal shelter to find the perfect dog. After looking at many dogs, they settle on a medium-sized dog with a beautiful golden brown color – the color of fried latkes! Yum! And that’s how Latke got his name. Latke quickly settles into his new house and as his new family celebrates the eight days of Hanukkah, he finds so many neat things to taste. One day he eats all the sufganiyot, another day he chews Zoe’s dreidel and then he discovers some latkes… yum! Will Latke have to go back to the shelter? Told from Latke's point of view, this is a very sweet Hanukkah story that brings home the message of love and forgiveness. With each transgression, Latke thinks he will get punished and perhaps be returned to the shelter. But with each mistake, Latke learns a lesson – he is loved. While one of the children might be upset, the other comes to the dog’s rescue and explains that Hanukkah isn’t ruined. At the end, Latke gets his own special chew toy and the family enjoys the Festival of Lights together. Quill says: A story of love, forgiveness, and the joy of Hanukkah. Latke really is one lucky dog!