Synopses & Reviews
Like Richard Ungars 2007 picture book with the same title,
this retelling of Peretz's beautiful Jewish folktale is about a rabbi whom the shtetl people believe performs a miracle every year before Rosh Hashanah. Kimmel tells it from the viewpoint of a skeptical Litvak stranger, who does not believe in miracles. He follows the rabbi, who disguises himself as a peasant, cuts wood, and brings his bundle to a poor old woman in a wretched shack, then sings and dances with her before the fire she builds. The bright mixed-media pictures in folk-art style show the rabbis hard work and joyful movements, a powerful, earthy contrast to the magic realism that the shtetl people imagine. Steeped in Yiddish idiom, the story sends an unforgettable message: the skeptic
changes and sees that ordinary kindness is enough to save the world.
Award-winning author Kimmel's whimsical retelling of this Rosh Hashanah tale, paired with Weber's charming illustrations, is sure to take readers to a higher place. Full color.