Snicket: Latke/Coal

I read two short children books by Lemony Snicket while I was staying at my friend’s house a few days ago.

The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming: A Christmas Story was published just in time for last year’s winter season. It is a dark story of an anthropomorphized latke, who keeps having to fight against being stereotyped and compared to objects and customs related Christmas. What can he do? He keeps screaming. Which is not surprising considering that he was born in hot oil and his short lifespan ended in somebody’s mouth. Lisa Brown’s graphics made the story look like an instant classic from the futuristic 1950’s. The book is funny, dark and satirical, I am not sure it would make every child happy.

The Lump of Coal was published in September of this year so by Christmas time it could become a bestseller. What would your aspirations be if you would be a lump of coal? You basically have two options: being used by an artist or a cook. These are exactly what our little protagonist is hoping for, but he has to go through a series of hurdles and disappointments before he can reach his life’s desire. If you are familiar with and enjoy Lemony Snicket’s smart, funny, but dark style you will like this one too. If you are not familiar this is a good book to start with. Brett Helquist’s equally gloomy drawings round up the experience,

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