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Way Too Many Latkes: A Hanukkah in Chelm Paperback – August 1, 2017
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"Faigel makes the most delicious latkes in her village―but only in tiny batches. Those lucky enough to taste one of them 'dream about it for the rest of the year.' Then Faigel forgets her famous recipe, and because she lives in Chelm, the legendary village of fools, the solution is far from simple―and deeply silly. With nonsensical advice from her rabbi ('Use all the eggs you’ve got') and acquiescence by her literal-minded husband, Faigel ends up making enough latkes to feed the entire town. Latke makers and their young assistants should easily identify with the muscles and tears involved as Faigel preps mountains of potatoes and onions. Glaser leavens the story with lots of performance-ready, Yiddish-punctuated dialogue ('The rabbi?” Faigel gripes. “What does he know about making latkes? Bupkes!'), and Zolotic’s characters have a vivid presence and energy reminiscent of animated films."―Publishers Weekly(Journal)
"In the town of Chelm, where foolish ideas often turn out for the best, Faigel can’t find her latke recipe. She sends her husband, Shmuel, to ask the rabbi for advice. Too many potatoes? No problem. Use them all! Too many eggs? Ditto. Too many onions? Ditto. At the end of this amusing tale, Faigel has made way too many latkes. What to do? Why, share them with everyone in Chelm, of course―until 'there were just enough mouths and just enough latkes, down to the very last one.' The expressive artwork by Serbian artist, Aleksandar Zolotic, jumps off the page. He describes his art as 'digital painting'. The muted greens, browns, and oranges enhance the atmosphere of an idealized shtetl life. Can we ever have too many Hanukkah and/or Chelm stories? Perhaps not. Here you get two for the price of one."―Association of Jewish Libraries(Other Print)
"Faigel, the best latke maker in the town of Chelm, has forgotten her recipe on the first night of Hanukkah, so her husband Shmuel goes to ask the wise rabbi for help. The rabbi is so hungry that he tells Shmuel Faigel should use everything―all the potatoes, all the eggs, all the onions―to make her perfect golden latkes. The predictable result is way too many latkes and not enough mouths to eat them, until the whole village is invited 'to bring one mouth each. On Hanukkah, that’s what mouths are for.' In spite of a rather thin plot, the use of folkloric phrasing and humorous patter moves the story along, with a few typical Chelmish misunderstandings thrown in for good measure. Digital cartoon illustrations depict an Old World scene with big-eyed expressive characters. VERDICT This story has enough humor and appeal to find a place on most holiday shelves."―School Library Journal
"Glaser (author of Stone Soup with Matzoh Balls, BCCB 3/14) returns for a second visit to Chelm, the village of fools from Jewish folklore; now it’s the first night of Hanukkah and Faigel can’t remember her latke recipe. She knows she uses potatoes, but how many? Her husband Shmuel runs to ask the rabbi for help, and the rabbi―whose stomach is growling―advises Faigel to use all the potatoes; after all, 'On Hanukkah, that’s what potatoes are for.' The same goes for eggs and onions, and before long Faigel and Shmuel have more latkes than they can possibly eat. Luckily, the rabbi once again has wisdom to share: 'There’s no such thing as too many latkes,' he intones. 'Just not enough mouths.' Warmly illustrated in brown and red tones, this tale of Chelm will have viewers giggling as wide-eyed Shmuel runs back and forth between his frazzled wife and the hungry rabbi, offering plenty of opportunities for readaloud performance. The characters and scenes create a world that’s an inviting mix of the cartoonish and realistic, and viewers will want to step inside―especially to share the latke feast with the villagers of Chelm at the end. A note at the end provides additional information on Chelm.--Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books(Journal)
About the Author
Linda Glaser is the award-winning author of over 30 children's books including the Sydney Taylor Award-winning Hannah s Way and Reading Rainbow featured book Our Big Home, An Earth Poem. In addition to teaching and writing, she conducts writing workshops for schoolchildren and adults. She lives in Minnesota.
Aleksandar Zolotic is an award-winning illustrator who lives in Serbia with his family. In addition to illustrating children's books, he has worked on comic books and video games.
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Shumuel was no fool and he was going to ask the rabbi how many potatoes went into Faigel’s latke recipe. Ah, such a wise men should know this thing! When Shumuel asked the very, very hungry rabbi, he said “Tell her to use them all.” He was positive, but there were bushels and bushels of them. When Faigel ask if he was sure, Shmuel was positive because the rabbi was positive about those potatoes and that was that. And so, “Faigel grated all the potatoes—down to the very last one.” Bushels ‘n bushels of them!
Potatoes weren’t the only thing in Faigel’s famous latke recipe. “Oy! With all these potatoes, how many eggs should I use?” There were bushels and bushes of peeled and grated potatoes so just how many eggs would be a problem. “I’ll go ask the rabbi,” Shmuel told her and so he did. The rabbi was very wise, but also very hungry and sooooo, the answer was to use all the eggs they had. And then there were those onions. Bushels and bushels of them too. Would there be enough latkes for all the fools in Chelm or would Faigel’s recipe be a flop?
This is one hilarious latke tale that will get readers of all ages laughing. I was so charmed and amused by Linda Glaser latke tale I read it several times. Zolotic’s artwork meshed perfectly with this latke tale, adding the touch of humor it needed. Soon the children at school will be reading about Hanukkah once again and this is one tale that will be a huge hit. This is a fun tale that will be a Hanukkah classic and will get many children in the kitchen asking to help make a batch of Faigel’s latkes!
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This book courtesy of the publisher (to library).