cover image Feathers


Ruth Gordon. Macmillan, $14.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-02-736511-5

The so-called wise men of the fools' village of Chelm, the site of so many Yiddish folktales, convene once again to solve another community calamity. This time the bathhouse has burned down and there are no funds to rebuild it. The wise men travel to outlying villages and receive contributions from their neighbors. Afraid that they will be robbed on their way home, they exchange the money for lots and lots of feathers, fling the feathers into the wind and wait--and wait--for them to float back to Chelm. Gordon's forceful writing has all the cadences of a seasoned storyteller, while Dabcovich's ( Ducks Fly ) punchy pen-and-ink and pencil art recalls the cheery mayhem of Margot Zemach and the spontaneity of James Stevenson. A tickler. Ages 5-8. (Sept.)