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WHEN THE CHICKENS WENT ON STRIKE by Erica Silverman

WHEN THE CHICKENS WENT ON STRIKE

A Rosh Hashanah Tale

By Erica Silverman (Adaptor) , Matthew Trueman (Illustrator)

Age Range: 5 - 9

Pub Date: July 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-525-46862-5
Publisher: Dutton

Silverman adapts a story from Sholom Aleichem featuring Kapores, the old Eastern European Jewish ceremonial custom of twirling a chicken in order to erase one’s bad deeds on the last day of Rosh Hashanah. In a poor village, a young boy overhears the chickens plan a strike in rebellion to the Kapores custom, while they chant “No more Kapores!” and walk out of the village. The boy, fearing that without chickens, his bad deeds will remain for the New Year, unsuccessfully tries to warn his papa. When the empty chicken coops are discovered, everyone anticipates catastrophic results. The boy leads the villagers to the meadow where the chickens have congregated and there begins a series of fruitless orders and negotiations to bring the fowl back to the village. The chickens keep to their squawking convictions, convince the boy that good behavior is dependent on inner strength, and strut off to parts unknown, thus ending an old custom without dire consequences. Newcomer Trueman’s wonderful mixed-media paintings of ink, pencil, and gouache humorously capture the Eastern European setting and the melodramatic reactions of the villagers. Satirical and absurdly appropriate for this ludicrous and outdated rite. (Folklore. 5-9)