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Mrs. Greenberg's Messy Hanukkah Paperback – January 1, 2004

4.6 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 1–Although it's the first night of Hanukkah, Rachel's parents tell her there won't be any latkes until the relatives come to visit next week. Undeterred, the child goes over to the exceedingly tidy house of her neighbor, Mrs. Greenberg (whom readers might remember from The Borrowed Hanukkah Latkes [Albert Whitman, 1997]), where she convinces the woman to make latkes with her. Rachel proceeds to spill the grated potatoes, drop the egg, and more, resulting in a terrible mess. Her parents arrive home in time to help clean up, and they all celebrate the first night of Hanukkah together. The energetic, cheerful illustrations and the simple and satisfying story make this a good book for holiday sharing.–E. M.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

K-Gr. 2. What's the first night of Hanukkah without latkes? But Rachel's parents are too busy to think about cooking, so Rachel pays a visit to elderly Mrs. Greenberg, whose sparkling kitchen begs to be invaded by an energetic little girl with potato pancakes on her mind. Pretty soon potatoes, flour, and eggs coat the floor, and an exhausted Mrs. Greenberg has collapsed in a chair. When Rachel's parents arrive, they focus on the mess, and a tearful Rachel apologizes. Then Mrs. Greenberg comes to the rescue, declaring firmly, "My house hasn't felt this lived in in years." Pattern and bright color abound in Cote's lighthearted, cartoonlike pictures, which channel the glow of the menorah on the table right onto the happy faces of the characters as they sit down to eat Rachel's latkes. A recipe, at the front of the book, completes this lively package, suggested for children who are already familiar with the holiday. Stephanie Zvirin
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 3
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company; Reprint edition (January 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807552984
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807552988
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 8.2 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,044,657 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By B. Feuer on December 18, 2006
Format: Paperback
I bought this book recently, and I read it aloud today for my son's 3rd grade class, and they all LOVED it!!! Even their teacher laughed along with the story, and all of the kids loved each page as things got messier and messier!!! It's a really sweet story with beautiful and colorful illustrations. Definitely goes older than grade 1!!! My 8 year old and a classroom full of 8 & 9 year olds loved it!!!!
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Format: Paperback
This book does not instruct the child about what Hannukah celebrates, nor how it developed. It describes a Hannukah-related food. The book's content focuses on the making of latkes (placki, pronounced PLATZKEE in Polish). A recipe is given. Prepare to grate potatoes and a small onion, then add flour, egg and water to make the batter. Prepare to fry the batter until you get a solid potato pancake.

The story is about the cooperative efforts of a child and an adult in cooking. Rachel, the girl, is determined to make latkes with Mrs. Greenberg. The latter says that she had not made latkes in years. Rachel manages to spill some of every ingredient on the floor. Long gone is Mrs. Greenberg's immaculately-clean household. Rachel's parents finally come. If you think that there will be anger because of the mess that Rachel had made, be prepared for a surprise!

(I find this story moving because the eating of latkes/placki was one of my favorite early-childhood memories. My grandmother, dying of cancer, would, with her last strength, cook them for me.)
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As director of a Jewish preschool and the mommy of a few young ones, I could not get enough of Mrs Greenberg, Rachel and their hilarious Hanukkah escapades, in this book and its companion, "The Borrowed Hanukkah Latkes". I was literally begging the classroom teachers and my children for the chance to read the books again, and again, and again. Ms. Glaser has written a set of books that is remarkable, not only for the engaging story line and plot, but for the language and literary techniques, and critical thinking opportunities embedded within. I love her descriptions and similes- "Mrs Greenberg's house was all clean and sparkly like it was just waiting for company, while Rachel's house always looked like it was still in bed with its hair sticking up." or as in the next book - "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." I felt I could read the books four, five times - to predict, as a read aloud for enjoyment, to identify the sequencing, to study the use of similes and comparisons, discuss the feelings of Rachel and Mrs. G, chant along the familiar refrains...This book is a winner! A must read in any Hanukkah unit!
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Although not a folk tale it has the many levels of storytelling I associate with folktales. The grown-ups take away one message and the kids enjoyed on an entirely different level----A good lesson for Grandma to relax over the clean kitchen issue- and lots of giggles for the kids!
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My grandkids loved this story. Cute and sweet story about a little girl who wants to celebrate the first night of Chanukah with Latkes. Her parents do not think it is necessary to make latkes on the first night. She teaches them a valuable lesson on friendship.
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When Rachel visits with her elderly neighbor, Mrs. Greenburg, what a messy adventure it becomes! For all the children who make a mess when trying to help and all the adults who keep their patience with them. Cote's colorful illustrations make this book a favorite.
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