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by Elka Weber & illustrated by Elisa Kleven

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Aug. 2nd, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-58246-374-2
Publisher: Tricycle

A story of justice and generosity from the Talmud.

One day a lost chicken wanders into the Bendosas’ house. Leora is excited; now they can have fresh eggs! But Mrs. Bendosa reminds her that, contrary to the age-old adage, “finders aren’t keepers.” They will take care of the chicken until the rightful owner returns. So the family builds a coop, and the chicken lays many eggs. But finders aren’t keepers, so the Bendosas leave the eggs alone. Then, the eggs hatch into fuzzy yellow chicks. But the chicks make a mess, so Mr. Bendosa and Leora take them to the market and trade for a goat. Every day, they milk the goat and make some cheese. But finders aren’t keepers, so they do not eat the cheese. But then, the cheese begins to smell. So Mr. Bendosa and Leora take the cheese to the market and get another goat. The cumulative chain continues, until a man walking by innocently asks if they have seen a lost chicken. The Bendosas laugh and explain how one tiny chicken has turned into a whole herd of goats—and they all belong to him! Weber has a storyteller's economy with words, but she effectively sketches her characters and gently milks the absurdity of the situation.

Enlivened with Kleven’s vibrant folk-art collage renderings, this tale will have readers thinking twice before ever saying “finders, keepers” again. (author's note) (Picture book/folktale. 4-8)