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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fuse 8 n’ Kate: Latkes and Applesauce by Fran Manushkin, ill. Robin Spowart

Happy Hanukkah! Having read the recent PW Children’s Bookshelf announcement that a new edition of Latkes and Applesauce by Fran Manushkin is due to be republished in 2022, I thought this might be the perfect time to revisit the old book. The announcement said it was a classic, so we figured we’d check and see how well it had stood up so far. Along the way we also cover how “Big Latke” got to Kate, TBD dogs and cats, what Daveed Diggs has to do with Hanukkah, and why I probably shouldn’t confuse “Maccabee” with “Mennonite”.

Listen to the whole show here on Soundcloud or download it through iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, Google Play, PlayerFM, or your preferred method of podcast selection.

Show Notes:

Font specialists, lend me your talents. What font creates question marks that look like this? It is new to us.

Oh yeah. We had to include “Puppy for Hanukkah” with Daveed Diggs song in here. I think we just found something to oust “8 Crazy Nights” from its throne.

Curious about PJ Library and the free books they provide? Check out my interview with Meredith Lewis about them in the piece 21st Century Oral Storytelling: How PJ Library Connects Kids to Their Heritage via Podcasting.

Feel free to listen to our previous Hanukkah episodes about Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins and The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming.

Are you as horrified by my family’s new tradition of test tasting different gross pops on Christmas Day? Then perhaps this next image is not for you. This is what Kate found for us.

About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.


  1. Betsy, thank you very much for bringing attention to these classic books. Yes, I will call Latkes and Applesauce a classic. There are wonderful new Chanukah books published every year, but I like to look at them in the context of the earlier ones. I actually like the illustrations. I hope that the new ones will also be lovely, although I usually approach the project of tossing out earlier versions with some skepticism. (I’m curious about your opinion of Eric Kimmel’s Hanukkah Bear/Chanukkah Guest.) I also want to thank both Fran Manushkin and Eric Kimmel for their long and distinguished careers, bringing Jewish-themed books (as well as other books) to kids.
    I want to also put in a good word for Frosty. Whatever the t.v. special and bland illustrations for the revised edition include, the original classic Golden Book with pictures by Corinne Malvern has absolutely no Christmas content. It is just about snow in a pre-climate changed world.

  2. Judy Weymouth says:

    Oh, my goodness. Beside BOOKS, I never imagined December 14th would also give me a gift for Hanukkah. A PUPPY FOR HANUKKAH to be exact. How wonderful is that?
    Your question sent me on a hunt for information regarding Hebrew question marks, but I haven’t discovered anything yet about that font.
    Regarding the unusual sodas . . . at least they are not beers!
    I have to find some other words besides “I appreciate” and “thank you”.