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THE RUNAWAY LATKES by Leslie Kimmelman

THE RUNAWAY LATKES

By Leslie Kimmelman (Author) , Paul Yalowitz (Illustrator)

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-8075-7176-8
Publisher: Whitman

This thoroughly delightful story is a Jewish version of the Gingerbread Man. Rebecca Bloom fries “Big and round, crisp and brown” latkes—potato pancakes—for the synagogue’s Hanukkah party. But this batch of Rebecca’s pancakes has an Attitude Problem. They have no intention of being eaten. Off they go, “to see the town, and YOU can’t catch us!” Rebecca knows that she needs all the latkes for the party. She knows that she’ll chase them and she’s sure she can catch them. But the first thing she does is the most practical—she turns off the stove. As the latkes pass the rabbi, the cantor, some boys playing ball, the mayor, and some police officers, they keep singing and rolling. Taunting everyone with their song (which seems to get a little nasty), they approach the wide, cool Applesauce River. If they get wet, they’ll be ruined. But Hanukkah is, after all, a time of miracles. And this modern miracle is that the river turns into applesauce, just the right topping. The illustrations are perfect for the story; the soft colors give everything a gentle touch and the rounded figures echo the runaway pancakes. A good, hand-printed (by Rebecca?) standard latke recipe wraps things up. And, still safety-conscious, the writer reminds us: “If you are under 12, be sure to fry the pancakes with a grownup’s help.” Fun for all. (Picture book. 4-8)