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Papa's Latkes

4.07  ·  Rating Details ·  45 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
"A stirring, tender portrait of beloved children and a father helping them celebrate their mother’s memory." — BOOKLIST

For Selma and her little sister, this is their first Chanukah without Mama. When Papa comes home carrying all the ingredients for latkes, Selma is worried. Can they make the latkes without Mama? In Michelle Edwards’s poignant story, warmly illustrated by S
Paperback, 32 pages
Published August 28th 2007 by Candlewick Press (first published 2004)
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Lisa Vegan
Dec 11, 2008 Lisa Vegan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: children who have lost a parent, especially at any first holiday without them
Recommended to Lisa by: Abigail A.
I am so glad that this book is available for children, particularly for children who have had a parent die within the year. My mother died when I was older than these girls but books such as this would have been very helpful.

This is the story of 2 sisters (whose mother has died since Chanukah the previous year) and their father at Chanukah time when one of the traditions is to make latkes (potato pancakes.) The account is both honest and hopeful, and shows great warmth and humor within the famil
Elizabeth Roe
Oct 24, 2012 Elizabeth Roe rated it really liked it
Grade/interest level: Upper Elementary (3rd-5th)
Reading level: Lexile, 580L
Genre: Picture Book, Multicultural

Main Characters: Selma, Dora, and Papa
Setting: The family home
POV: Third person

This book is about a Jewish family celebrating their first Chanukah after their mother’s passing. The book follows the traditions that the family has always upheld and the different responsibilities each family member takes on in place of their mother. The story focuses in on making latkes, something that had
Sophia Kanoon
Oct 15, 2012 Sophia Kanoon rated it it was amazing
Grade/interest level: Primary/Learn to read (kindergarten -2nd grade)
Reading level: Guided Reading Level O
Genre: Multicultural Literature

Main Characters: Papa, Selma, and Dora
Setting: At the Home of Selma and Dora , in a largely Jewish neighborhood
POV: Through Selma’s viewpoint

Summary: Papa’s Latkes by Michelle Edwards, illustrated by Stacey Schuett is a heartbreaking story of a family overcoming loss during the holidays. It is Selma and Dora’s first Chanukah after the loss of their mother. T
Nov 10, 2009 Katie rated it really liked it
Papa’s Latkes
4 out of 5 Stars

Schuett uses colorful paintings in her illustrations of the book. These are not detail-oriented illustrations; the characters are soft, rounded, and take on an almost abstract feel. In fact, the background of one page is a swirl of blues and is reminiscent of Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night. The coloring Schuett used added great depth to the book; a wide range of colors are shown, mixed together, and piled on top of each other. Upon further examination, the illust
Jeanne O'Hara
Apr 13, 2014 Jeanne O'Hara rated it really liked it
Genre: fiction, picture book

Papa's Latkes is the story of a family's first Channukah without their mother. Papa brings home the ingredients for latkes, a type of potato pancake eaten at Channukah. At first, Selma and Dora don't think they can make the latkes, because their mother always made them. But they are able to remember what they did to help their mother, and recreate her recipe. Their father cooks the latkes, and that's where they are different from their mother's. Selma cannot bring her
Maricela Rivera
This story depicts a Jewish holiday and some of its traditions in ways that other students can understand. The tone of this story was alive but with some sadness embedded within the context. The detailed illustrations present the different emotions the young girls are going through during this special holiday without their mother. The Jewish culture is present throughout this book with the lighting of the menorah, cooking of the latkes, and the Jewish symbols that can be seen on the tablecloth. ...more
Michael Claudius
Papa's Latkes is a realistic fiction book, In this book the father's wife died and he is forced to take the wheel and take care of his two children. The two children miss their mother on their first Hanukkah without her, but they all make latkes and celebrate without her. A lot of children can relate to tragic deaths and it may seem harder to deal with around holidays. The book shows how the family was able to be strong without the presence of their mother. The language and illustrations make it ...more
Edwards, Michelle (2003).
Subgroup: Bereavement
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Topics: Bereavement, Religious Traditions, Chanukah
Synopsis: This book is a very sweet way for children to understand how a family deals with the lose. Dora, Selma, and their father are celebrating their first Chanukah without their mother. Their mother used to make the best Latkes for Chanukah dinner, but this year their Papa is making them. The family works together to make the night special even without mama there. They do
Kia M.
Apr 11, 2011 Kia M. rated it really liked it
Shelves: informational
This would be a great book to use when teaching your students about different family traditions, and holidays that are celebrated at the end of the year. It could also help students who have suffered the loss of family members by letting them know they can still be happy, and their family traditions can still live on eventhough that person might not be there in the physical. Great illustrations also.
Oct 19, 2014 Chris rated it it was amazing
I read this book aloud to my fourth graders (most are Jewish kids) and we totally enjoyed it. There was quite a bit of humor, the difficulty of "creating" latkes was well depicted as was the love of the dad for his girls. Best of all, for me, was that the kids really marveled over the beautiful oil painted illustrations. We decided this was a top-notch book.
Gail Barge
This is quite a sad book but holds a lot of information about the traditions of Chanukah. This would be a good book to discuss traditional holidays during December. It would be fun to actually make latkes with a class (kids always love food!). I would use this to talk about religious traditions, families, and possibly even the lose off a loved on and when families can especially miss that person.
This storybook addresses serious life issues, so I would suggest it is more for junior readers than the very young.

Beautifully written and illustrated; it is a healing moment for those affected by loss of their mother.
Tuyet Tran
Nov 22, 2010 Tuyet Tran rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: family, holidays
This book was really sad. The girls spent Chanukah without their mama. It gave me more meaning to spend time with my family during the Holidays.
Genesis Garcia
Genesis Garcia rated it it was amazing
Dec 09, 2013
Alicia rated it it was amazing
Jan 24, 2012
Laura rated it really liked it
Mar 05, 2016
Kelsey rated it really liked it
Aug 17, 2012
Hannah rated it really liked it
Feb 03, 2016
Sarah rated it liked it
Dec 16, 2014
Deborah rated it it was amazing
Oct 28, 2013
Vanessa rated it really liked it
Nov 29, 2013
Rosalie Maggio
Rosalie Maggio rated it it was amazing
Mar 31, 2011
Jim rated it really liked it
Jul 30, 2013
Brittany rated it liked it
Mar 13, 2013
Nativida rated it liked it
Jan 14, 2014
Linda Cole
Linda Cole rated it it was amazing
Jul 27, 2014
Codie Gates
May 22, 2012 Codie Gates rated it it was amazing
A sweet story about Chanukah and lumpy latkes. Touching story.
Jenn rated it really liked it
Dec 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Dec 03, 2014
Hannahlily rated it liked it
Dec 01, 2012
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