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Mr. Mintz's Blintzes

Esther Hernando
Every year, Mr. Mintz makes and shares delicious blintzes with his friends for Shavuot. But when he gets hurt and is unable to cook, what will become of the blintzes? A Bank Street College CHILDREN'S BEST BOOK 2023
In stock
Product Type:
Printed Material
Grade Level:

Mr. Mintz is famous in the neighborhood for cooking up cheesy, gooey, and delicious blintzes. He shares them each spring to celebrate the Shavuot holiday.

But something happens to Mr. Mintz this year, and he can't make his sweet treats.

Oh no!

Can the holiday celebration be saved?


Mr. Mintz was exactly the kind of neighbor everyone wanted.

He had a friendly word and a smile for everyone.

Plus, he was awesome at: remembering birthdays, raking leaves, carrying groceries, shovelling snow, giving bike-riding lessons, filling bird feeders, and putting out milk for cats.

And oh, what a marvelous cook Mr. Mintz was!

He'd measure and mix and chop and pour. He'd add a sponful of this and a pinch of that. He'd fill and fry and bake.

And in no time at all there'd be a dish of something so mouth-wateringly delicious that the aroma reached into every house on the street.



The neighborhood blintz maker is injured right before the blintz holiday, Shavuot.

Mr. Mintz (light-skinned, with a curly ginger mop) is a neighborly gent. He carries groceries, puts out milk for the cats, and, most importantly, is always there with a bite to eat. A “marvelous cook,” Mr. Mintz gives away most of what he prepares to his neighbors—soup for the sniffly, latkes on Hanukkah, challah for Shabbat, and gooey, tasty blintzes for the spring holiday of Shavuot. But the day before Shavuot, Mr. Mintz takes a tumble off his skateboard. He’s going to be OK, but who will make the “cheesy and apple-y…gooey and delicious” blintzes for the neighborhood? Why, the neighbors, of course! When Mr. Mintz returns from the hospital on crutches, his neighbors are all there to bring him hot tea, kittens—and blintzes. Mr. Mintz’s neighbors, nameless and lacking cultural markers, have a wide variety of skin tones and facial features in the cartoon art. It’s up to the reader to decide whether this gentle, community-minded tale depicts a racially diverse Jewish neighborhood, a neighborhood where people are happy to celebrate other cultures’ traditions, or both. An author’s note provides a two-sentence reference for the religious aspect of the holiday but returns to the focus on food with a blintz recipe. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A cozy tale of friendship, mutual aid, neighborliness, and tasty, tasty food. (Picture book. 4-7)

--Kirkus Reviews

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).

--Michal Malen, the Jewish Book Council