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The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming: A Christmas Story
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The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming: A Christmas Story

4.11  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,978 Ratings  ·  276 Reviews
Latkes are potato pancakes served at Hanukah. Lemony Snicket is an alleged children’s author. For the first time in literary history, these two elements are combined in one book. People who are interested in either or both of these things will find this book so enjoyable it will feel as if Hanukah is being celebrated for several years, rather than eight nights.
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published October 28th 2007 by McSweeney's (first published January 1st 2007)
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A Christmas Carol by Charles DickensHow the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. SeussThe Night Before Christmas by Clement C. MooreThe Polar Express by Chris Van AllsburgThe Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
Favorite Christmas Books
67th out of 796 books — 1,106 voters
Joseph Had a Little Overcoat by Simms TabackSomething From Nothing by Phoebe GilmanThe Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming by Lemony SnicketHershel and the Hanukkah Goblins by Eric A. KimmelZlateh the Goat and Other Stories by Isaac Bashevis Singer
Great Jewish Picture Books
3rd out of 68 books — 43 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dec 17, 2014 Melki rated it really liked it
Shelves: eating, holiday, children
A yummy potato pancake resists being boiled in hot oil and runs screaming through the village, spreading a delicious aroma AND the word about the true meaning of a very important holiday that has nothing to do with Christmas.


I guess the only question now is applesauce or sour cream?

Happy Hanukkah!
Jan 19, 2008 Mandy rated it really liked it
Clever, clever, clever. Here's a snippet of a conversation between the latke and the pine tree:

The latke sighed. "Presents aren't really a big part of Hanukah," it said in a voice hoarse from screaming. "There's nothing wrong with giving gifts to loved ones, of course, but it's more important to light the candles for eight consecutive nights, to commemorate the miracle in the temple and the miracle of victory even when you are thoroughly outnumbered, so you shouldn't give up hope."

"Plus, Santa C
Jan 26, 2008 MacK rated it it was amazing
One of the questions that invariably arises while reading popular children’s literature series that have come out over the last ten years or so, is what will they do once the series is over? Some simply try to recapture the magic, it looks like JK Rowling is going to run far away from her creations as possible, but in true fashion Lemony Snicket aka Daniel Handler makes one of the most creative and ingenious choices by writing The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming. Styled like any other childre ...more
Sep 28, 2013 Robin rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: My cherubic students who insist (over and over and over and over) that Passover is Jewish Easter
Oh, what joy! My kind of humor (sarcastic), and real facts about Chanukah, and a nice message besides. So, nu, what more could you want?

"It is very frustrating not to be understood in this world. If you say one thing and keep being told you mean something else, it can make you want to scream. But somewhere in the world there is a place for all of us, whether you are an electric form of decoration, peppermint-scented sweet, a source of timber, or a potato pancake. On a cold, snowy night, everyone
Jan 15, 2016 Kaethe rated it it was amazing
2014 December 11

Natasha read it aloud, showing me the pictures and everything. It killed me when she did the screams


2013 December 17

I love it and look forward to reading it to someone every christmas for the rest of my life.

2011 January 2

Apparently I meant that in the Christmas-time sense of the word.

2008, January 1

Well, I'm working on it.
Dec 12, 2010 Nichelle rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 18, 2010 Tamra rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 23, 2007 Michele rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: intermarried couples with a weird sense of humor
I spotted this book on a "novelty" display at B&N while finishing my "holiday" shopping (yes, Hanukkah, Christmas, the works) and leapt at a Lemony Snicket book published by McSweeneys (you know, Dave Eggers' gig). I picked it up and immediately started laughing loudly and, I'm sure, obnoxiously, in the store. A gentleman of a certain age approached me and asked what was so funny. He was hoping our senses of humor matched. I sure hope they did, as I tried my best to explain what was so funny ...more
Dec 31, 2009 Wendy rated it it was amazing
I don't have children young enough to appreciate this book, but my librarian suggested it for my neices and nephews. I read it to them on Christmas Eve and they were enchanted. Not only does this book contain Christmas-related references, it teaches the Christian child about Hannukah.

The children loved helping the latke scream throughout the book, first because it is fried in olive oil and then because everything he runs into thinks he is something for Christmas.

It's a fun and intellectually wri
Story of Choice
Sep 08, 2013 Story of Choice rated it liked it
This title screams for itself, making the book difficult to pass without reading. Kudos to Lemony Snicket for addressing with intelligence and good humor an experience irksome to Jews of all ages. The gist? Hanukah and Christmas are two totally different things. The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming is a refreshing story for the winter holiday season, providing fun for readers of all traditions and validating the experience of a large minority of Western culture who--gasp--don't celebrate Christ ...more
Donald Armfield
Dec 10, 2013 Donald Armfield rated it it was amazing
"This story ends in someones mouth"

This is a Christmas/Hanukah story about a Latke who learns the meaning of Christmas and finds out why he is boiled in a pan. A Latke is basically a potatoe hash brown eaten during Hanukah celebration. In case you have been hiding under a tree, until now.

My wife read this to our 4 year old and she liked the part of the yelling Latke "Ahhhhhhhh" I listened in and learned a few things and enjoyed some laughs.
Dec 02, 2014 Kaitlyn rated it it was amazing
I always forget exactly how much I love Lemony Snicket. I should stop doing that.
Judi Paradis
Dec 19, 2009 Judi Paradis rated it really liked it
This book is a marvelously silly way to explain that Hannukah IS NOT like Christmas. A latke runs screaming away from its owner (just like the Gingerbread boy). As it meets various Christmas objects (such as colored lights or Christmas trees) they try to figure out how he is like something for Christmas. He keeps explaining that he is entirely different, and then tells the story of Hannukah. It is fun and funny and useful!
Julie Schwartz
Nov 13, 2007 Julie Schwartz rated it it was amazing
Lemony Snicket (aka Daniel Handler) is my hero. This laugh-out-loud funny "Christmas" story is about a latke who, well, won't stop screaming. (Hey, if you were "born" in a pot of boiling oil, you might not stop screaming either.) In between running through page after page screaming (it never gets old), the latke manages to teach some rather close-minded Christmas symbols a thing or two about Hannukkah. Brilliant!
Dec 02, 2009 Julie rated it it was amazing
Lemony Snicket's witty voice tells the story of a latke that couldn't stop screaming. It runs down the street, encountering Christmasy things (a candy cane, a tree) that don't understand. Is he a hash brown? Is he a part of Christmas?

The latke explains, and screams, what he is and what he's all about. And it's all very amusing. And there's a cute squirrel.
DeAnna Knippling
Jan 09, 2012 DeAnna Knippling rated it really liked it
Warning: this is a book written by Lemony Snicket. If you like that kind of thing, you will find this book, however short, to be the kind of thing that you like. If not, well, it may bother you to see the Christmas tradition of trying to make everything Christmas-like satirized, and you may not recognize the happy ending for what it is.
Kelly H. (Maybedog)
Ridiculous and absurd but actually quite funny. Not find of the illustration style but they're comical and fit the text. Plus, I learned something about Hannukah I didn't know. (I think maybe this degree of mine was written on toilet paper with disappearing ink.)

A cute, but rather lightweight story that made me Snicket. I'm sorry. I meant snicker.

And it did persuade me to finally spend half an hour to put up my Christmas Tree.

Dec 29, 2012 Megan rated it it was amazing
This was a funny, informative book, great for any child, or adult, who wants to gain a better understanding of the traditions of Hanukkah. The book is written in Lemony Snicket's trademark, easy-to-follow, friendly style. He disseminates information without coming across as condescending or a know-it-all.

Several times throughout the book, the Latke tells the Christmas objects (twinkling lights, candy cane, christmas tree) that Hanukkah is separate from Christmas, that they are not the same thin
100% just laughed out loud. Numerous times.

The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming: A Christmas Story 1932416870

Does your todo list during the Holidays have you feel like screaming? Sometimes the best sort of therapy is realizing that others have it much worse than you do. And then laughing out loud. Several times. Because, seriously, this Latke has it MUCH worse than you. And an irate latke in the hands of veteran satirist Daniel Handler, better known to his many fans as Lemony Snickett, is one
La Coccinelle
Mar 10, 2013 La Coccinelle rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
I really had no idea what to expect from this one. With a title like that...

This was actually a pretty cute holiday story (not purely a Christmas story, as the subtitle suggests). It tells the tale of a latke who can't seem to stop screaming, even as he strives to fulfill his holiday destiny. Interspersed with all the screaming are some surprisingly informative bits about the origins of Hanukkah and its traditions.

I'm sure I would have enjoyed this book when I was a kid, but I found it amusing e
Susan Rose
This book is both hilarious and full of meaning, and mainly centers around the idea of accepting other peoples winter season celebrations. The main character is a Latke who is trying to explain Hanukah to a Christmas obsessed world.

It is very frustrating not to be understood in this world. If you say one thing and keep being told that you mean something else, it can make you want to scream. But somewhere in the world there is a place for all of us, whether you are an electric form of decoration
Mar 10, 2009 Heather rated it it was amazing
Not your average holiday story (which you hopefully guessed before picking it up after noting the author)!
The vocal latke of the title hops from the frying pan to seek his fortune in the world (not unlike the gingerbread man). He runs through the village and countryside encountering many secular symbols of Christmas. On the kid side you have silly story of food running around screaming (my 10 month old loved the screaming!) and talking to lights, candy & trees. For those who look further you
Brad McMasters
Dec 06, 2010 Brad McMasters rated it really liked it
Shelves: juvenile, fiction, fantasy
I loved this book which has now become a tradition to pull out during the holidays. It's the story of a latke at Hanukkah who encounters a number of characters based on Christmas symbols (pine trees, candy canes, etc) who are all unfamiliar with Hanukkah traditions. The latke attempts to teach them about the history and culture surrounding the Jewish holiday but grows more and more irate with each encounter. It was written by Lemony Snicket, author of the Series of Unfortunate Events.

I was given
Dec 16, 2015 Jen ƸӜƷ rated it liked it
Ahhhh! A really cute story with simple and beautiful art work. I loved that the story introduces Hanukkah to children that aren't knowledgable of the festival of lights. I would, however, have loved to seen the book delve into the other winter holidays since they were mentioned. It would have made for a well rounded story.
Feb 19, 2009 Heidi rated it liked it
Recommended to Heidi by: Meredith
I think I was in the wrong mood to read this. Yesterday I would have enjoyed it much more. Today, I just didn't get it. OK. I did love the random squirrel with the Santa hat. I think that was my favorite. Followed by the screaming latke. And it was nice that the message--brought about in Snicket's very odd ways--was actually a good one. Thrown in with Snicket's very odd humor. Definitely an interesting read. But which would you classify it as--Christmas or Hannukah? I did learn two new things--d ...more
I loved Lemony Snicket's "A Series of Unfortunate Events" but after reading a few other books by him, I realized that he carried certain styles into all of his writing that I thought was meant only for that series. I would rather see what else Snicket could do instead of writing the same way in every book.

That said, this book wasn't all that impressive. I'm not a fan of writing a wierd story, and then giving it one page of social significance that doesn't seem to fit. It makes the theme of the b
Jun 16, 2015 Trinity rated it it was amazing
This book is extremely hilarious. I mean, a potato pancake screaming it's head off and explaining Hanukah, who wouldn't want to read that?
Dec 29, 2015 Cyndi rated it it was amazing
Very sweet little tale of differences, belonging and being understood. I have discovered a new tradition to share with my grands.
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Lemony Snicket had an unusual education and a perplexing youth and now endures a despondent adulthood. His previous published works include the thirteen volumes in A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Composer is Dead, and 13 Words. His new series is All The Wrong Questions.

For A Series of Unfortunate Events:

For All The Wrong Questions:
More about Lemony Snicket...

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“It is very frustrating not to be understood in this world. If you say one thing and keep being told that you mean something else, it can make you want to scream. But somewhere in the world there is a place for all of us, whether you are an electric form of decoration, peppermint-scented sweet, a source of timber, or a potato pancake.” 339 likes
“Santa Claus has nothing to do with it," the latke said. "Christmas and Hanukah are completely different things."

"But different things can often blend together," said the pine tree. "Let me tell you a funny story about pagan rituals.”
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