Two new versions of the Yiddish story immortalized in Zemach's It Could Always Be Worse (1976). The primer, language Cole edition admits to its ethnic origins only in the CIP and in some of the details of the illustrations, which are comic and lively but no match for Zemach's earthier humor, fine sense of place, and underlying compassion; in Cole's version, the Rabbi is referred to as ""the Wise Man."" This will be acceptable and useful only to those not offended by what seems to be a halfhearted attempt to suppress the story's origins. The lengthier Brodmann text, which originated in Germany, is entertaining, though it lacks Zemach's taut energy. Poppers impressionistic watercolor illustrations are full of comic movement; but here the caricatured Rabbi with his wine bottle nestled amongst his books may well offend. Except for comprehensive collections, stick with Zemach.