YOSSEL ZISSEL AND THE WISDOM OF CHELM by Amy Schwartz

YOSSEL ZISSEL AND THE WISDOM OF CHELM

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A butcher in Chelm receives word that a rich uncle has left him a fortune. He travels to Warsaw to claim it, but finding the bags of gold too heavy to carry, he trades them for animals, then trades the animals for feather beds. Even they prove heavy, so he slits them, imagining that the wind will carry the feathers to Chelm. Since the feathers are blown throughout the world, Yossel Zissel and the other Chelmites now travel everywhere to recover them. Schwartz's lighthearted text moves the story briskly along. Her black-and-white illustrations are appropriately zany, although some of the reproductions have a muddy quality. Yossel Zissel's ability to be content despite setbacks is refreshing in our age of enticing materialism. The tales of Chelm, where simpletons are the wise men, are a well-established part of Jewish folklore. Some are available in collections of Isaac Singer and Solomon Simon. This is a good introduction to these foolish but lovable characters for younger children.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1986
Publisher: Jewish Publication Society