REVIEW: The Borrowed Hanukkah Latkes by Linda Glaser, illustrated by Nancy Cote
It’s the last night of Hanukkah, and more relatives are coming than originally planned. Rachel decides to borrow potatoes from Mrs. Greenberg. She asks Mrs. Greenberg, who is all alone, to come for Hanukkah. But Mrs. Greenberg is very stubborn!
Rachel is dancing with excitement. It’s the last night of Hanukkah and lots of relatives are coming. Then the phone rings and suddenly eight more people are expected. With only three tiny potatoes in the cellar, what will they do? Run next door and ask Mrs. Greenberg. Her house is always tidy “like its face was just scrubbed and its blouse tucked in.” Mama’s asked her plenty of times to come celebrate Hanukkah but Mrs. Greenberg is stubborn as an ox and always refuses.
Mrs. Greenberg was silent. So silent you could hear the walls
listening. You could hear the rug holding its breath.
“Rachel, dear,” she finally said. “Your mama has enough tumult
without me. All those latkes. All that work. I know how it is. Years
ago, every Hanukkah, my house was filled with people, too. But
those days are long gone.” She smoothed down her apron. “Now
you go home. And happy Hanukkah.”
Then Mama realizes they’re out of eggs and Rachel gets sent over again. Mrs. Greenberg happily hands over a carton of eggs but still won’t come over. Finally though, Rachel realizes the perfect way to get Mrs. Greenberg to celebrate with them. This story concentrates on celebrating with family and friends rather than explaining what Hanukkah actually is. The illustrations are cheery and colorful and Rachel is one stubborn little girl – just like an ox! B+