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The Borrowed Hanukkah Latkes (Albert Whitman Prairie Books (Paperback)) Paperback – September 1, 1997

4.8 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Of the many joys of Hanukkah, the joining of family and friends is perhaps the greatest. This is why young Rachel and her family are especially eager to have their dear elderly neighbor Mrs. Greenberg over for Hanukkah dinner. But every year their neighbor refuses, not wanting to be a bother. One year, on the last night of Hanukkah, Rachel's mother discovers that she has run out of potatoes for the latkes. Maybe Mrs. Greenberg will come for dinner if we borrow some of her potatoes, suggests Rachel. And off she runs into the snowy purple night to see if her plan will work. Author Linda Glaser (Rosie's Birthday Rat) has a keen understanding of a child's perspective: "Mrs. Greenberg's house was always clean and tidy, like its face was just scrubbed and its blouse was tucked in, while Rachel's house always looked like it was still in its pajamas and needed to brush its hair yet." Rachel succeeds in procuring the potatoes, but it takes a "stubborn-as-an-ox" girl to get a "stubborn-as-an-ox" woman to share their Hanukkah dinner. Rachel's ingenious eventual entrapment of Mrs. Greenberg--along with her rosy red cheeks and unruly orange braids--make her an excellent ambassador for a story about the heart of Hanukkah. Lively, cartoonish illustrations by Nancy Cote enliven this already vivacious holiday tale. (Ages 4 and older) --Gail Hudson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3. Rachel and her mother are busy preparing for their Hanukkah celebration. When eight more people are suddenly added to the guest list and there are no more potatoes in the cellar, Rachel goes next door to borrow some from Mrs. Greenberg. Every year the elderly woman is invited to join the girl's family, but she always refuses. This year, she is delighted to lend the potatoes, and then some eggs, and finally chairs?until Rachel has an idea. If Mrs. Greenberg won't come to them for Hanukkah, they'll just have to borrow her house and take the celebration to her. The lively watercolor illustrations add to the joy as smiling family members, with slightly elongated, constantly waving arms and long legs, fill the pages with motion and energy. Rachel's wide-eyed, pig-tailed innocence belies her understanding that Mrs. Greenberg is a lonely neighbor who still needs someone with whom to share the holiday. A lovely message, wrapped in a lighthearted story.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 4
  • Series: Albert Whitman Prairie Books (Paperback)
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company; Reprint edition (September 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080750842X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807508428
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 7.8 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #734,061 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on November 24, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Our children love this book, especially our 5 year old: its one of his favorite holiday books. It's a sweet story that will keep younger children interested; as much as its about Hanukkah, its mainly about giving. Highly recommended for non-Jewish families who want to expose their children to Hanukkah as well; its about coming together at a holiday and doesn't focus on the weightier aspects of religion.
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Every year I look for Chanukah books for my daughter. This year she is 3 1/2 and is listening to chapter books, so I wanted to get her a Chanukah story that was a bit more involved than the simple board books we have gotten in the past. This is a sweet story with beautiful pictures. I love that it is about Chanukah yet it's not simply telling the story of Chanukah, explaining the candles, etc. Instead, it's a story that just happens to take place around Chanukah time. In a society where Christmas is everywhere, it's refreshing to read a story about a family celebrating Chanukah. We also bought "Mrs. Greenberg's Messy Hanukkah" which is about the same family and is also a terrific book.
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Format: Hardcover
This book will become one of my Hanukkah favorites. I thought it was really a moving story and believe that my students will love it. I am not Jewish and don't have any Jewish students but teaching and learning about Hanukkah as well as other winter holidays is a great way to build understanding and tolerance. The Hannukkah unit is definitely a favorite.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Who can say 'no' to a child, especially during the holidays? Rachel's persistence brings joy to young and old alike, as she borrows all the ingredients necessary for a happy holiday from and elderly neighbor ... including the use of her house!
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By Mom of 2 on December 23, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My four-year-old enjoyed this sweet story about a young girl including her neighbor into a family celebration.
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Excellently sweet book! Cute illustrations, and the storyline is charming. This is not *just* a Jewish book - the themes in this book include thoughtfulness, kindness, cleverness, and looking out for others (esp. the elderly); they just happen to be placed in a Hanukkah plot line. Anyone and everyone should buy this book.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is a story set during Hanukkah, not about Hanukkah. Very sweet, embodies Jewish values, and a great message for kids of any faith. Without being preachy.

Story outline: There is a little girl whose family has planned a Hanukkah celebration. The guest list keeps growing, and the little girl goes next door to borrow several needed items. The neighbor is an older lady who is generous throughout, but declines several invitations to join the party so as not to be a bother. In the end, the little girl finds a way to bring the party to her. Everyone is happy.
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Okay... maybe I am a bit hormonal today, but I just read this story to my two children and got all teary eyed. What a lovely story about family, sharing, and community. My husband is Jewish, I am Catholic- so I try to include a diversity of holiday books this time of year. This is one of my new favorites:-) And there is a recipe for latkes that we will be trying this afternoon!
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