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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

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  1,814 ratings  ·  249 reviews
Latkes are potato pancakes served at Hanukkah, and Lemony Snicket is an alleged children’s author. For the first time in literary history, these two elements are combined in one book. A particularly irate latke is the star of The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming, but many other holiday icons appear and even speak: flashing colored lights, cane-shaped candy, a pine tree. S ...more
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published October 28th 2007 by McSweeney's (first published January 1st 2007)
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How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. SeussA Christmas Carol by Charles DickensThe Night Before Christmas by Clement C. MooreThe Polar Express by Chris Van AllsburgThe Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
Favorite Christmas Books
66th out of 699 books — 957 voters
Joseph Had a Little Overcoat by Simms TabackThe Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming by Lemony SnicketHershel and the Hanukkah Goblins by Eric A. KimmelSomething From Nothing by Phoebe GilmanZlateh the Goat and Other Stories by Isaac Bashevis Singer
Great Jewish Picture Books
2nd out of 68 books — 39 voters

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Community Reviews

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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!
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
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
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.
Sep 28, 2013 Robin rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 23, 2007 Michele rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
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
Donald Armfield
"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.
I always forget exactly how much I love Lemony Snicket. I should stop doing that.
Judi Paradis
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
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!
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
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.)

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
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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
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
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
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
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
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?

Rounded up on account of the pleasant way this book was able to convey important parts of Hanukah in a book about Christmas. Or maybe the way it was able to convey pieces of Christmas in a book about Hanukah.

The universalist message was a pleasant one, albeit it seemed the Christmas decorations were far more judge-y than our little protagonist the Latke. I hope all Christmas lights don't act like the ones in this book.

Fun. Simple. The sentences/paragraphs were long and are fit for an older
Never one to shy away from the darkly humorous, Lemony Snicket provides his readers with a holiday-themed version of the Gingerbread Boy. A Latke, who escapes from the boiling oil of a frying pan (hence the screaming) encounters a series of Christmas symbols along the road. Although he attempts to explain the meaning of Hanukkah to each of them, his attempts are in vain. A funny story for families who celebrate Christmas and Hanukkah or families who are just really hip. Best appreciated by 7-9 y ...more
Dec 15, 2014 Dolly rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a very odd story...but what do you expect from Lemony Snicket?
I saw and purchased this book as a way to learn more about our son's chosen religion.

In Lemony Snicket style, this is the story of a latke, from beginning to end. The poor thing has to find his place in the world.

And Christmas really isn't it.

In this book we learn what the differences are between Christmas and Hanukkah. Really, the only similarity seems to be that they fall around the same time of the year, and have something to do with light.

I enjoyed it. I believe it could be enjoyed by all ag
Story of Choice
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
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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...
The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #1) The Reptile Room (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #2) The Wide Window (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #3) The Austere Academy (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #5) The Miserable Mill (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #4)

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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.” 323 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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