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Larry's Latkes

Ben Whitehouse
When Larry the alligator decides to make a brand-new latke recipe for a Hanukkah party, it doesn't go well at all. But his animal friends at the farmer's market pitch in to help throw a perfect--and perfectly delicious--party.
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The cartoon illustrations are bold and brash, brimming over the pages with activity. . .  [Larry's Latkes] gives readers who celebrate [Hanukkah] the sort of playful, largely secular experience found in countless Christmas books.   ---Kirkus Reviews


Big Larry has a latke truck

he brings out once a year

The customers wait round the

block when Hanukkah is near.

Everyone knows that Big Larry makes the best latkes in town. This year he's throwing a Hanukkah party for all his friends, and the latkes need to be extra special.

Big Larry goes on a sulinary quest to find brand-new latke flavors. But peaches are a soggy mess, and turnips are a flop. Big Larry's kitchen is a latke disaster! Good thing he has some help from his firends.

Includes a tasty (and successful!) recipe for Rainbow Latkes with Fresh Rainbow Salsa.


Jenna Waldman grew up in Rhode Island, where she loved cooking potato latkes with her grandmother. She lives in teh San Francisco Bay Area, where she creates odd new pancake recipes to test on her husband and two boys. She is also the author of the book Sharkbot Shalom. You can visit Jenna at


Ben Whitehouse was born and raised in Birmingham, UK. He lives in Chepstow, Wales with his lovely partner, Yvonne; thier beautiful son, Timmy; and their crazy border collie, Sparrow. He worked in the animation industry as an animator and stop motion puppet maker before becoming an illustrator. You can visit Ben at


Can a Hanukkah latke be potato-less?

Larry is an alligator with a food truck. His customers range from mice to moose, and all are eager eaters. Larry uses his granny’s recipe but wonders if there is more to a latke than potatoes, onions, and matzo meal. Holding his basket, he visits a busy farmers market, selecting peppers, tomatillos, and pears, among other ingredients—but no potatoes. The culinary results are unsuccessful. He continues to pursue a new recipe in trial-and-error fashion using the newfound ingredients. It’s a catalog of foodie delicacies: leek, Camembert, kale, quince, chard, and more. He produces “a soggy mess” and “mushy-gushy glop.” With failure over the stove about to befall him, Larry turns back to the tried-and-true potato, returning to the farmers market on a “gator-tater quest.” At last the something-old, something-new formula achieves success. It’s a Hanukkah party for all as his very happy and hungry friends celebrate the first night of the holiday with a new twist on a traditional treat. The cartoon illustrations are bold and brash, brimming over the pages with activity. With more to say about farmers markets and cooking than Hanukkah (though a short note discusses the miracle of the oil), this title gives readers who celebrate the holiday the sort of playful, largely secular experience found in countless Christmas books.

Try this different but tasty recipe for latkes. (recipe) (Picture book. 4-7)



Food-truck owner Big Larry (an alligator) has always sold latkes from Grandma Gold Gator's recipe, but this year he decides to try new flavors. 

The farmers' market provides options, but his peach-, turnip-, and camambert-based latkes are each missing a key ingredient. Never fear: he comes to his senses, and the results are a delicious innovation in fusion dining. A well-metered text adnfriendly, cartoonish illsutrations make for an inviting story of mixing old and new. Back matter gives brief, miracle-focused information about the holiday as well as a recipe for latkes--with fresh rainbow salsa. 

--Shoshana Flax, HORN BOOK