Mrs. Greenberg’s Messy Hanukkah

Though it’s the first night of Hanukkah, Rachel’s family won’t really be celebrating until next week. But Rachel wants to celebrate now, so she comes up wtih a good idea: while her parents do errands, she’ll visit her neighbor, Mrs. Greenberg, and they can make latkes together. The two head into Mrs. Greenberg’s shiny, tidy kitchen and begin grating the potatoes. But Rachel’s gratings slide off the table and onto the floor. Before long, Rachel has dropped an egg, spilled the flour, and dribbled the oil. Mrs. Greenberg is exhausted, Rachel’s mom and dad are horrified, and Rachel is afraid she’s ruined a friendship by making this terrible mess. She is relieved and delighted to find that Mrs. Greenberg thinks it’s a wonderful mess—her house hasn’t felt so lived-in in years!

  • 9780807552957
  • May 2015

Other Places to Buy


  • The energetic, cheerful illustrations and the simple and satisfying story make this a good book for holiday sharing.

    - School Library Journal

  • Mixed-media folksy paintings of wintry scenes often with blue-toned backdrops illustrate the humorous and often predictable predicaments Rachel creates. Kids will be shaking their heads in wild amusement happy that Rachel’s efforts do bring home the “feel of Hanukkah.”

    - Kirkus Reviews

  • Pattern and bright color abound in Cote’s lighthearted, cartoonlike pictures, which channel the glow of the menorah on the table right onto the happy faces of the characters as they sit down to eat Rachel’s latkes. A recipe, at the front of the book, completes this lively package, suggested for children who are already familiar with this holiday.

    - Booklist

  • Cote’s colorfully patterned illustrations ably show Rachel’s frazzled parents and their messy though cozy home, contrasted with Mrs. Greenberg’s sparklingly clean house. A latke recipe is included in this pleasant, secular Hanukkah story.

    - The Horn Book

Awards & Accolades

  • Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award 2005
  • 2004 Notable Book, Association of Jewish Libraries


Nancy Cote

Common Core

RL.1.1,2,3,4,5,6,7,9 RL.2.1,2,3,5,6,7,10 RL.3.1,2,3,4,5,6,7,10


  • Accelerated Reader Points: 0.50
  • ATOS Level: 2.40