"Sally" is going on sabbatical to write a book.

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Friday, November 29, 2013

Papa's Latkes

Papa's Latkes
by Jane BeskinZalben
32 pages; ages 3-6
Square Fish (Macmillan), paperback 2013

Themes: Holiday, diversity, family (and food!)

Opening: "Mama made the best potato pancakes in the whole town. 'This Chanukah,' she said, 'I don't feel like making latkes.' So papa said, 'Let's have a latke contest!' "

Why I like this book: How many ways can latke-making go wrong? When the kids try their hands -er, paws - at whipping up potato pancakes, we find out.  Too lumpy! Too oily! Too large! Too small!  But when papa steps into the kitchen the latkes come out just right. There is light (the menorah) and music (O Chanukah) and dreidel-spinning and shiny new frying pans.

Beyond the Book:
Sing! The words and music for "O Chanukah" are in the back of the book.
Make Latkes! Papa Bear's recipe for the best golden latkes is at the back, too. It's a good recipe, but be bold and experiment with blue potatoes, or sweet potatoes. Make apple-beet salsa. Take your latkes where not latkes have gone before ...
Dance! The Hora is a simple circle dance that anyone can do. Here's how.
Roll some candles for the menorah. All you need are some sheets of beeswax and wick. Here's how. 

Today's review is part of PPBF (perfect picture book Friday), an event in which bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's site. She keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect Picture Books. Review copy provided by publisher.


  1. I've never had latkes, but they sound pretty yummy - even lumpy or oily or too big or too small. This looks like a cute book I need to check out. Thanks!

  2. I must read this one! I've had a number of potato pancakes 'go wrong' in my day.

  3. This sounds like the perfect picture book for the holidays and introduces kids to different food and cultures. I must check this out. :)

  4. I like that this Chanukah book really shares the traditions. Sounds beautiful!

  5. My first batch of potato pancakes turned an icky grey-ish brown when I didn't keep the shredded potatoes under water. I'll have to check this book out!

  6. I love cultural books about religious holidays, especially Jewish in nature, Sue. Thanks for sharing this!

  7. This is a wonderful book packed-full of things to love. Thanks!

  8. Love all the activities to do beyond the book. Thanks.