Latkes, Latkes Good to Eat

ISBN 0-395-89903-6, 0-618-49295-4, 0-547-56690-0   Also available for Kindle and Nook.

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Sadie and her four mischievous younger brothers line in a small drafty cottage on the outskirts of a tiny village. They are very poor and always hungry. But—what joy!—on the first wintry night of Chanukah, Sadie is given a frying pan that cooks up sizzling-hot delicious potato pancakes on command. When Sadie goes out on the last day of Chanukah, she warns her brothers not to touch the magic pan. But the minute she steps out the door...

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I based the character of Sadie on this photograph of my grandmother, Dora Pollack. This is a picture of Grandma Dora when she was a young girl in Russia. She is wearing her school uniform. You can see Sadie wearing the same outfit.

This book is a retelling of one of my favorite childhood stories, The Magic Porridge Pot, by the Grimm brothers. I loved the idea of streets filled with porridge and all the villagers having to eat their way home. They probably never wanted to eat porridge again!

Reviews

“Howland serves up friendly, folk-ish art, containing the excesses of the plot with down-to-earth depictions of people and village.”
—Publishers Weekly

“Howland effectively sets her story in a Russian shtetl, using words, intonation, and especially pictures. Working in gouache and colored pencil, she offers a snowy landscape peopled with Jewish villagers who work hard and celebrate harder.”
—Booklist ALA