Latke’s First Hanukkah

Viking. Oct. 2023. 16p. Board $7.99. ISBN 9780593623169.
Toddler-PreS–Silberberg’s latkes return in this simple Hanukkah counting book that will work best for families already familiar with the holiday. The text consists of one sentence per spread. Each sentence mentions a night of Hanukkah, depicting the lit menorah as well as the corresponding number of whatever is being mentioned, all personified: one Latke, two toppings, three dreidels, four sufganiyot, and so on. “On the 1st night of Hanukkah, Latke lights the menorah.” “On the 3rd night of Hanukkah, the dreidels drop by, dizzy.” The final spread has all the personified items depicted, with nothing corresponding to the number eight, other than the lit candles. There is no explanation of the significance of any of the items, making it completely obscure to those unfamiliar with the holiday. Illustrations are brightly colored and cartoon-style; backgrounds are done in bright, saturated colors, and the characters are all depicted with heavy outlines, huge round-pupil eyes, and sticklike lines for arms and legs. The menorah is filled with bright, candy-colored candles topped with glowing flames. Jewish schools and libraries, as well as public libraries with large Jewish clientele, will find this a pleasant enough addition for their youngest patrons. It won’t make sense to the uninitiated.
VERDICT Buy where Silberberg’s other titles are popular or Hanukkah board books are in high demand. Others can pass.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing