Runaway Latkes

Runaway Latkes

4.0 1
by Leslie Kimmelman, Paul Yalowitz

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
A rollicking romp is in store for the whole town when Rebecca's famously perfect latkes jump out of the frying pan into--not a fire--but a rolling tour. With their mocking challenge, "Big and round, crisp and brown, off we roll to see the town! And YOU can't catch us!" drifting in their wake, they lead a parade, including the rabbi and cantor, the mayor, policepersons, and a growing stream of others. Finally, they land in the Applesauce River where they are fished out and tasted. Everyone will recognize the debt owed to The Gingerbread Boy, The Red Carpet, and other tales of this ilk, but that won't stop the fun of chasing the runaway potato pancakes through the streets. Strangely, the pictures are not much fun. The people look like stylized cardboard mannequins; the bubbling oil appears as green soup, or maybe gook; and the sizzling latkes are a dead ringer for sugar cookies. Improbably fat, round kippot (skullcaps) may jump off the heads of the male rabbi or the female cantor, and arms may be thrown up above heads here and there, but the main impression is one of robots on Ritalin who haven't been properly programmed to engage the reader with the art as well as the story. 2000, Whitman,
In The Runaway Latkes, young Rebecca Bloom is preparing for a Hanukkah party when three latkes jump right out of her frying pan. They head for the door, singing "Big and round, crisp and brown, off we roll to see the town! And you can't catch us!". As so begins the chase as the sassy latkes roll past the rabbi's study, the cantor's room, two boys playing outside, the mayor's office, and the police station, all with Rebecca and a growing crowd in hot pursuit. At last the latkes plop into Applesauce River -- where a modern-day Hanukkah miracle happens! Paul Yalowitz's delightful drawings superbly complement Leslie Kimmelman's lively, wonderfully entertaining, and highly recommended picturebook tale for young readers.
Kirkus Reviews
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)

Product Details

Whitman, Albert & Company
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.35(w) x 10.32(h) x 0.35(d)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

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Runaway Latkes 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I teach first grade and read this as part of our unit on winter holidays. Kids loved the story and,after reading and rereading it, many begged me to let them make latkes. We did!