Who knew? It turns out that mischievous green creatures are responsible for challah, that tasty staple of Jewish festivals.
Three green goblins enjoy disrupting the lives of the schoolchildren of Knottingham by messing up their hair. The goblins, named “Knotty, Knotsalot, and Notnow,” live up to their names on a daily basis and think that their actions are quite funny. Not so the children and their parents, who must unmuss the messy mops. Finally, the children, who have such bakery-related last names as Honeydrizzle, Tablespoon, and Goldencrust, concoct a recipe of squishy dough to foil the little green monsters, covering their hair with unbaked dough that traps the goblins. They are so eager to escape they promise "to never again tangle children's hair." And from that day to this, the families of Knottingham bake a “braided sweet bread called challah.” The author’s note pays tribute to the wonderful smell of challah as a sign that Shabbat is close. Unfortunately, there is no recipe nor explanation of why challah is actually such an integral part of the Friday night Shabbat festive meal, depicted in one of the concluding images. Readers unfamiliar with the bread will find this original tale puzzling, and those who imagine baking and eating that hairy dough will find it unappealing. And children will be mystified that anyone would consider this an effective way to keep hair from becoming knotted. The cartoonish illustrations are awash in greens and feature a mostly white cast of children (one child appears to be Asian and another black).
Tear off a chunk of challah instead. (Picture book. 4-7)