DAY 2 in America: Eight books to read while the candles glow. What does the Barnes and Noble near Manhattan’s Lincoln Center and Julliard School know that I don’t? Their table of Hanukkah Book suggestions seems to include a book that is neither a bible nor a kosher cookbook.
But I digress… speaking of large latkas, my suggestion for Day 2 of the Festival of Lights is a book from last year about a spirited latke. The book is The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming: A Christmas Story by Lemony Snicket and Illustrated by Lisa Brown (McSweeney’s, 2007). Finally, we have a book that reinforces that Hanukkah is not the Jewish Christmas and is not about receiving presents. Well, maybe it does not overtly reinforce this idea, but it hints at it.
This is a book about hope in the face of being outnumbered. Like a fish out of water, here is a story about a latke living inside of a Christmas story. The Latke is screaming and it is wailing. And, nu, why shouldn’t it? Someone who lives in the house, the one without the Christmas lights adorning it, has tried to fry this latke in sizzling hot oil. Rather than jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire, this little latke has a good kopf, and it heads for the open window. Running from the house, the latke encounters many popular Christmas symbols, These symbols think the latke is nothing more than a cute hash brown,