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The Golem's Latkes

Press: Two Lions; First Edition edition (October 1, 2011)
Publication Date:2011-10
Author Name:Kimmel, Eric A.; Jasinski, Aaron;


On the first night of Hanukkah, Rabbi Judah has too much to do and too little time to do it. 
Before the rabbi leaves to visit the emperor, he tells his housemaid Basha that she can ask the golem to help.
While the golem makes latkes, Basha decides to visit a friend.
Basha is having so much fun with her friend, she doesn't realize that latkes are pouring out of the rabbi's house, sending people running! Will Rabbi Judah come up with a solution to control the golem before it's too late? Illustrated with lively acrylic on wood, the book includes an Author's Note about the tale's origins.

About the Author

Author Eric A. 
Kimmel is well known for the tales he has retold from around the world.
Some of his best-known titles are Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins (a Caldecott Honor book), Gershon’s Monster, Anansi and the Talking Melon, and The Runaway Tortilla.
A former professor of children’s literature, he lives in Portland, Oregon.
Illustrator Aaron Jasinski's paintings have shown across the United States and Europe.
He also illustrates children’s books, album covers, and creates electronic music.
Jasinski lives in the state of Washington with his wife and four children.


Children's Books,Holidays & Celebrations,Jewish,Literature & Fiction,Religious Fiction,Christmas

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Comment List (Total:17)

  •     In this book, Eric Kimmel combines the legend of the golem, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, and Hannukah. Doesn't sound like it all should fit, but it does, and it should be a fun story, particularly for young readers.Rabbi Judah of Prague's got a lot to do before Hanukkah, and it's up to his new housemaid, Basha, to get the house ready for a party he's going to throw that night. She cajoles him into letting him get the golem to help. The golem, for those who don't know, was fashioned by Rabbi Judah to serve as the protector of the Jews of Prague. He's basically an automaton who will do whatever you ask, and keep doing it. In this case, Basha gets into trouble by asking him to make latkes then kipping off to her friend's house for a while. As you can imagine, the golem keeps making latkes until they overflow the house and begin to flood Prague. In the end, Basha proposes a solution to the problem, one that shouldn't be too surprising to adults but that kids might find quite a twist.It's a well-told story, and the real star is the artwork. The golem looks simultaneously affable, hulking, and vaguely threatening, and 16th century Prague seems to come to life. There are plenty of chances for you to stop the story and spend time with your little one picking out little details in the art.All in all, it's a nice little bedtime story for the season.

  •     Wonderful book for my son, we enjoyed it.

  •     I was familiar with the tale but was excited to see it available in a format in which I could easily share it with my child.

  •     This beautifully illustrated Hanukkah book is a delightful mix between the classic golem tale, Strega Nona and The Sorcerer's Apprentice.

  •     I received this book the day before my 2nd grade class was going to make latkes as part of our Hanukkah celebration.

  •     The first little one to whom I readThe Golem's Latkesasked a very interesting question. She wanted to know where all the potatoes and onions came from so the golem could keep making the latkes. She asked why they didn't run out of the vegetables. Only the golem made more latkes I think than my mother and she went through countless pounds of potatoes at a time, feeding anyone who happened by. Adapted by Eric A. Kimmel and beautifully illustrated by Aaron Jasinski, the tale was well received by kids aged two to about six. The younger ones were more interested in the little white cat than anything else, though. The muted illustrations are rustic and not intimidating. The golem is like a hybrid of Frankenstein's monster and the Pillsbury dough boy without a smile until the last page. The rabbi is almost jolly in appearance, very wise. Basha is young and simplistic. My only personal problem with this story is that Basha is rewarded for her laziness, but then again, Rabbi Judah is more forgiving than I. It's a good Hanukkah book for youngsters in preschool.

  •     I only recently learned what a Golem is, so when I spotted this book for children it naturally caught my attention.

  •     Interesting perspective...it was a fun story to read and share.

  •     A++

  •     "The Golem's Latkes" is an amusing tale, perfect for children age 5 to 8. Rabbi Judah has made a Golem (a servant out of clay, come to life with a magic word "emet" meaning truth...

  •     I purchased this title for our Sunday School students because I'm always looking for new Jewish holiday stories to read aloud and check out from our synagogue library. It was a hit with both the youngest students and the middle graders (some of whom had seen "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" in the film Fantasia and thus connected the two stories). The book is also a vehicle for relating the Golem legend to younger children.It was checked out before the morning classes were over--always a sign that the book will be read again. Now I have to be certain it's returned so the next in line can get it!

  •     What I like the most about this book is the beautiful artwork. The story is also good and, like an earlier reviewer said, this is a good "read aloud book" for young children.Others have summed up the story, so I don't think I need to do it here. But I will stress how nice the illustrations are.

  •     . . . of an old Jewish folk-tale. (In the interest of historical accuracy, there was a "Rabbi Judah" who, according to some traditions, did, in fact, create a golem!)In this charming Hanukkah story, Rabbi Judah leaves his home to visit the Emperor. While he was away, his lazy housekeeper figured that she could use the golem to make latkes -- but she forgot the magic words to make it stop! This lavishly illustrated children's story made me laugh out loud!Highly recommended -- and not only throughout the Jewish population. This Catholic Christian enjoyed it thoroughly (as did the entire family!)

  •     At last - a golem that doesn't scare the heck out of kids! This is a delightful book. It's fun to read and teaches some good lessons, too. I read it to a group of young children (none of whom are Jewish), and they loved the story.

  •     Cute story for young children and the golem does not appear frightening as in some stories I have read.

  •     This is another Chanukah story that really does not have a Chanukah theme.The Rabbi leaves his maid to clean and prepare for the Festival of Lights (and miracles) while he visits the emperor, only to discover from the regal residence that his household help has disobeyed his instructions. The Rabbi had created a creature from clay -- the Golem --- which can help with anything but lacks speech much less the intelligence to stop working unless specifically ordered to stop --- "enough."The good news is that the Golem, at the command of the Rabbi's maid, makes more than enough traditional Chanukah potato pancakes (latkes)for the entire city to eat, including the royal household.The bad news is that there is nothing in this story about the reason for Chanukah, the reason for making latkes, or the reason the Rabbi embossed a "magic word" (Emet, or "truth" in Hebrew) into the clay head of the Golem.This story is definitely based in Jewish lore, but there's no special Chanukah message, making this particular Eric Kimmel work a slight disappointment.Cute but Kimmel's traditional strength -- sticking to Jewish themes in Jewish stories --- in this one has "gone fishing."

  •     darling story great book in great condition, made my friend very happy


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