PAPA’S LATKES by Michelle Edwards


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 6
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The recent death of Selma and Dora’s Mama clouds the happy, celebratory mood of Chanukah. Papa, who is cheerfully determined to carry on—with the girls’ doubting help—will make Mama’s latkes, the highlight of each year’s holiday. Each step in the recipe and in getting the house ready with Mama’s polished menorah, embroidered tablecloth, and special blue plates reminds Selma of how much she misses Mama and how delicious her latkes smelled and tasted. Sitting down to Papa’s lumpy mud pie–looking version at a table set for only three, brings Selma to tears. Consoling hugs and words from her father and younger sister help her continue the tradition of lighting the menorah, celebrating as Mama would have expected. Illustrations in tones of murky green, blue, and tan gouache accentuate the mournful mood and expressions of the characters in this melancholy story set with a 1940’s-style background. While the holiday is one of remembrance, mixed themes of death, grief, and festive preparation make this painful story more suitable for the section on death and dying than for the holiday shelf. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-7636-0779-7
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Candlewick
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 2004


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