THE MATZO BALL BOY by Lisa Shulman

THE MATZO BALL BOY

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 3 - 6

KIRKUS REVIEW

This Passover version of “The Gingerbread Man” employs numerous Yiddishisms to tell the story of a runaway matzo ball boy as he escapes from the lonely bubbe (old grandmother) and her soup and then runs into and challenges the schneider (tailor), the yenta (village gossip), the rabbi, and a fox. Finally, he meets a poor man who invites the now weary and worn out matzo ball boy to a warm home where he’s cleverly lured into another pot of chicken soup. As in the original, the repetitious refrain, “run, run, as fast as you can / you can’t catch me. / I’m the matzo ball man!” follows the chase of the frantic and surprised characters who stand with upstretched arms and wide-opened mouths. Shulman interchanges man for boy for the sake of the rhyme and adds a bit of Jewish flavoring to the characters’ reactions and dialogue. In an amusing twist, listeners or readers will not overlook matzo ball boy’s sardonic reference to gingerbread. Litzinger’s bright, colorful, rounded figures provide a shtetl and rural atmosphere to the very familiar story. (author’s note, glossary of Yiddish words) (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-525-47169-3
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 2005




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