cover image Stone Soup with Matzoh Balls: A Passover Tale in Chelm

Stone Soup with Matzoh Balls: A Passover Tale in Chelm

Linda Glaser, illus. by Maryam Tabatabaei. Albert Whitman, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 97

“All who are hungry, come and eat!” declares one of the most famous passages of the Haggadah, the text for Passover. It’s the lesson of the famous folk tale of the stranger who teaches generosity to a selfish village by making soup from a stone. Transporting the story to Chelm, Jewish folklore’s mythical village of fools, is an inspired move on Glaser’s (Hoppy Passover!) part, and she adds another delicious Jewish twist in the form the matzoh ball. When the stranger promises his magic stone will create kneidleich “so big and heavy they’ll sit in your belly like rocks all eight days of Passover,” the aghast women of Chelm run home and make “dozens—no hundreds” of matzoh balls “so light they can almost fly.” Tabatabaei’s (The Angel Who Fell From Heaven) gently funny drawings strike just the right tone of comeuppance, and have the look and feel of vintage Disney animation. Ages 4–7. [em]Illustrator’s agent: Lemonade Illustration Agency. (Mar.) [/em]