In old Poland, Papa, Mama and children Rebecca and Ezra are surprised by an early blizzard on the first night of Hanukkah. Unable to dig up potatoes for latkes or pick apples for applesauce, they huddle in a darkened room lit only by the shammes and the first candle on the menorah. Over the next two nights, the family gives shelter to a stray dog and a bedraggled kitten. On the holiday's last night, the sky finally clears and they all venture outdoors. The dog miraculously digs up buried potatoes; Papa, rescuing the cat from a tree, discovers some apples. The family can now feast on the traditional holiday foods while they enjoy their new pets--Latke the dog and Applesauce the cat. Written in evocative Yiddish-inflected language, this is a pleasing addition to the holiday bookshelf. Spowart's soft, blurred pastels give the story an added sense of warmth and security. Included are an afterword on the ``Story of Hanukkah,'' a latke recipe and instructions on how to play dreidel. Ages 3-7. (Oct.)
When a blizzard leaves the Menashe family housebound one Hanukkah, they share what little food they have with a cat and a dog who also seek shelter and food from the storm. As the food dwindles to crumbs on the eighth night of Hanukkah, they all go outside to gaze at the moon and stars. The cat and dog dig up potatoes and find apples and everyone feasts that night on latkes and applesauce. A good deed was truly rewarded in this widely reviewed and highly recommended holiday story.
A blizzard leaves a peasant family housebound at Hanukkah with the potatoes for latkes buried under the snowdrifts. There are no apples for applesauce, either, since the harvest was poor. But when the family takes in first a stray cat and later a stray dog, the two animals return the favor. On the eighth night of celebration, when the storm finally clears and the nearly starving group ventures out, the dog digs potatoes and the cat mews in the apple tree where apples are miraculously now hanging. Curious children may well ask why the family didn't prepare by digging potatoes before the holiday. Nevertheless, this gentle story is well served by Spowart's earth-toned chalk illustrations that depict the family in rounded shapes with an economy of detail. An end note explains the holiday and gives directions for playing dreidel and an elaborate recipe for latkes.