Potatoes at Turtle Rock

  • Interest Level: Kindergarten - Grade 3
  • Reading Level: Grade 2

Annie leads her family on a nighttime journey around their farm to celebrate the first night of Hanukkah. At each stop along the way—the Old Log, Squeezy Cave, and Billy Goat’s Bridge—Annie uses riddles (and potatoes) to mark old traditions and start new ones. They end up at Turtle Rock Creek, where they give thanks for the light and warmth (and potatoes) in their lives.

Format Your Price Add
Interest Level Kindergarten - Grade 3
Reading Level Grade 2
Genre Picture Books
Copyright 2016
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Kar-Ben Publishing ®
Language English
Number of Pages 32
Publication Date 2016-08-01
Text Type Fiction
BISACS JUV017110, JUV013000
Dewey [E]
Graphics Full-color illustrations
Dimensions 10.625 x 8.875
Lexile 550
Features Reviewed



Narrator Annie leads her family on a nighttime hike around their farm to celebrate the first night of Hanukkah. Annie uses riddles (and potatoes) to talk about old traditions and make new ones. Get it on Amazon.

The Washington Post

“‘Baked potatoes and snow cones.’ It’s a fun twist on traditional stories about the holiday.” ―The Washington Post

Publishers Weekly

“The creative team behind Tashlich at Turtle Rock (2010) returns with another story about a Jewish holiday–themed hike. Once again, young Annie is the leader and narrator; the title refers to her giving two baked potatoes to each family member during a Hanukkah walk through their snowy woods. Annie explains that the potatoes serve multiple purposes: they’re touchstones of family history (as a boy,‘Great-Grandpop’ used hot potatoes as pocket warmers during wintry walks to his shtetl’s religious school), a makeshift menorah (‘Annie, you’re ingenious,’ says Dad, as she pushes six candles and the shammash into the spuds), and latke substitutes, eaten al fresco. Schnur and Schnur Fishman fill the family’s sojourn with snappy banter (asked to reveal something he’s afraid of, Dad replies, ‘The federal deficit’) while Steele-Morgan’s outdoor scenes capture the chilly blue light of the season.”—Publishers Weekly

Church and Synagogue Libraries

“The authors, a mother-daughter team who wrote Tashlich at Turtle Rock have joined with the illustrator of that book to offer one family’s unusual, but creative, observance of Hanukkah. It is the sixth night of the holiday, snowing and cold. Mom, dad, children Lincoln and Annie, and their pet chicken and goat venture out to the woods to celebrate. Annie has the itinerary planned, and the group stops at Old Log, Squeezy Cave, and Billy Goat Bridge before reaching Turtle Rock. Anna has secret packages and questions to ask the family at each destination. She brings hot potatoes to keep warm, to use for candle holders, and finally to eat. During the slightly scary adventure, the family sings holiday songs, dances, the children make dreidels in the snow, and mom says a prayer.

One bit of trivia is told. On the sixth night of Hanukkah, we cannot see the moon shine (it is the new moon in our hemisphere).

There is a brief note about Hanukkah after the story and the illustrations complement the text by adding just enough color to make the dark evening come alive.

Recommended to elicit discussion on individual family observances of traditional holidays.”—Congregational Libraries Today

Author: Anna Schnur-Fishman

Anna Schnur-Fishman is a senior at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. She loves linguistics, Yiddish, and writing.

Author: Susan Schnur

Susan Schnur is a Reconstructionist rabbi whose "paper pulpit" is Lilith magazine, a Jewish women's quarterly. Susan lives with her husband in Boston, Massachusetts.

Illustrator: Alex Steele-Morgan