Mr. Mintz’s Blintzes

Leslie Kim­mel­man, Esther Her­nan­do (Illus­tra­tor)

  • Review
By – May 16, 2022

Every­one in the neigh­bor­hood loves Mr. Mintz. He’s friend­ly, gen­er­ous, and help­ful; he remem­bers everyone’s birth­day, rakes leaves, and shov­els snow when need­ed; he brings home­made soup to a sick neigh­bor and deliv­ers latkes on Hanukkah and chal­lah on Shab­bat. But Mr. Mintz is most famous for his sweet and savory, gooey and deli­cious Shavuot blintzes. When he breaks his leg skate­board­ing just before the hol­i­day, his neigh­bors sur­prise him by work­ing togeth­er to make the blintzes.

Cute, expres­sive car­toon illus­tra­tions depict a diverse con­tem­po­rary neigh­bor­hood, with added speech bub­bles used to enhance the text. The text men­tions that Shavuot cel­e­brates the giv­ing of the Torah to the Jew­ish peo­ple,” and the append­ed author’s note fur­ther explains that because the Torah is said to be nour­ish­ing, like milk, many peo­ple cel­e­brate Shavuot by eat­ing dairy foods such as cheese, ice cream, and blintzes.”

The strength of Mr. Mintz’s Blintzes is in how it illus­trates in a fun way the Jew­ish val­ues of chesed (kind­ness) and vis­it­ing the sick. There are sim­i­lar ver­sions of the sto­ry told about oth­er times of year in pic­ture books, some exam­ples being The Cholent Brigade by Michael Her­man, illus­trat­ed by Sharon Harmer (Kar-Ben, 2017), Chik Chak Shab­bat by Mara Rock­liff, illus­trat­ed by Kyrsten Brook­er (Can­dlewick, 2016), and The Bagel King by Andrew Larsen, illus­trat­ed by Sandy Nichols (Kids Can Press, 2018).

Rachel Kamin has been a syn­a­gogue librar­i­an and Jew­ish edu­ca­tor for over twen­ty-five years and has worked at North Sub­ur­ban Syn­a­gogue Beth El in High­land Park, IL since 2008, cur­rent­ly serv­ing as the Direc­tor of Life­long Learn­ing. A past chair of the Syd­ney Tay­lor Book Award Com­mit­tee and past edi­tor of Book Reviews for Chil­dren & Teens for the Asso­ci­a­tion of Jew­ish Libraries News & Reviews, her arti­cles and book reviews appear in numer­ous pub­li­ca­tions. She has been a mem­ber of the Amer­i­can Library Association’s Sophie Brody Book Award Com­mit­tee since 2021.

Discussion Questions