Tag: Lemony Snicket

A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz

A Tale Dark and Grimm is a book right in my wheelhouse, as they say.  After reading a review in the NYTBR, I quickly added this to the TBR pile.  Young adult fantasy fiction, fairy tales and folklore, quirky sense of humor, etc. What’s not to like, right? I soon grabbed it for my Kindle and started reading.

It turned out to be a sort of Lemony Snicket take on the Brothers Grimm. Gidwitz reworks a variety of Grimm Fairy Tales with Hansel and Gretal as the lead characters while adding his own sarcastic and ironic commentary along the way.

As is so often the case, I was a bit torn about the end result.

The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming by Lemony Snicket

Cover of "The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Scr...

Cover via Amazon

We made a family trip to the library last weekend and as usual picked up quite a pile of books for the kids to read (and a couple for myself) And also not surprisingly a number of the books had a winter or holiday theme.

One book that I grabbed almost as an afterthought, The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming by Lemmony snicket, turned out to be one that the whole family enjoyed.

Here is the publishers tease:

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. Santa Claus is briefly discussed as well. The ending is happy, at least for some. People who are interested in any or all of these things will find this book so enjoyable it will feel as though Hanukkah were being celebrated for several years, rather than eight nights.

The plot of this particular tale involves a latke who jumps out of the frying pan right out the window and embarks on a journey. Along the way he screams – hence the title – and also explores – and satirizes – the cultural clash of Hanukkah and Christmas.

The book really is a great package.  It is funny, clever, well designed and illustrated (by Lisa Brown) and even packs a little education and a subtle message about the holidays.

Our family found it was great fun to scream along with the latke as we read the story.  So if you haven’t spotted this particular holiday themed gem be sure to check it out at the library or local bookstore.  I think you will enjoy it whether you celebrate Hanukah, Christmas, both, or neither.

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