Moishe, a milkman who is kind to everyone in his poor village of Wishniak, receives a magic frying pan that produces an unlimited supply of delicious Hanukkah latkes. - (Baker & Taylor)
"...set it upon the fire empty, and it will produce as many delicious Hanukkah latkes as you wish. Latkes by the dozen, latkes by the hundreds will appear until you remove the pan from the stove. Just remember the stranger's warning: "To Moishe this gift was given, and only Moishe must see it."
With such a gift, Moishe, his wife Baila, and the entire village of Wishniak can have a Hanukkah like no other. They will dance and sing and feast on latkes all because of a mysterious frying pan provided by a stranger and some talking cows grateful for Moishe's generosity. But what of the warning? Will the magic pan still fry up latkes as plump as little pillows if Baila uses it? Or will it fry up something totally unexpected...?
Laura Krauss Melmed, author of the bestselling I Love You As Much..., and artist David Slonim have cooked up a wondrous and wholly original Hanukkah story, made from all the classic ingredients of Jewish folktales: mystery, humor, and good food.
Ages 5-8. Kindness is rewarded and selfishness is punished in this original Hanukkah story that has the sound and feel of a traditional folktale. Baila insists her husband Moishe's generosity has left them without money to buy flour for latkes. But others are grateful for his kindness. In fact, he is mysteriously rewarded with a magical pan that makes plenty of pancakes for all. When Baila tries to use the pan for more selfish reasons, demons leap from the skillet, wreaking havoc until Moishe and the rabbi (who was coming for dinner) arrive and scare the demons away. Children will feel comfortable with the stock elements of the story: the shrewish wife, the gentle husband, and the grand comeuppance, but it's the pictures more than the quirky story (there's an odd talking cow) that will grab attention. Their rich golds and browns evoke the bubbling goodness of the holiday's fried pancakes. An author's note gives the barest of details about the celebration. --Stephanie Zvirin Copyright 2000 Booklist Reviews