June 19, 2017

Life in the shtetl

Sholom's Treasure: How Sholom Aleichem Became a Writer
by Erica Silverman
pictures by Mordicai Gerstein

Sholom Aleichem was a monkey and a dreamer who wanted to make people happy. One of twelve children, his life was often hard - his father lost his business, his mother died of cholera, his sharp-tongued stepmother constantly scolded. Yet Sholom was fascinated by his stepmother's inventive insults, and started to write them down. Called "The Sharp Tongue of the Stepmother", it became his first book. It even made her laugh. It set Sholom on the path to becoming a writer.

Written like a folktale, with expressive paintings to match, this is a humourous and charming story.

When The Chickens Went On Strike
adapted by Erica Silverman
illustrations by Matthew Trueman

On Rosh Hashanah, it was the custom to swing a live chicken over one's head to cleanse away bad deeds. Understandably, the chickens are angry and demand an end to the custom. When negotiations fail, it's up to a young boy to find a solution.

Originally told by Sholom Aleichem, this is a funny story that will leave readers smiling.

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