Only in Chelm, renowned for its foolish wise men, could such a logical solution to a problem be so wrongheaded. To foil robbers, the shopkeepers install Zalman as watchman, atop a hill outside town so that he will be equidistant from their shops; to keep warm, he's given a sheepskin coat that attracts wolves, necessitating a horse for him to sit on; since he can't ride, the horse is tied to a tree--so that when the bandits do come, Zalman can't ride after them; and of course he doesn't want to wake the townsfolk by shouting! Freedman's accessible retelling has a nice lilt; Krevitsky's skillful pen drawings, set off by areas of Wedgwood blue, give the characters an authentic East European flavor, to which he adds interest by representing the shtetl in a semi-abstract manner, reminiscent of Braque. The publisher's publicity (not the book) calls this a ""retelling of [an] old folk tale (originally made famous by I.B. Singer)""; LC classes it as fiction. Whichever, a good edition of a winning story.