Dave Horowitzâ€™s playful rhyming tale, its illustrations packed with comic asides, will have readers giggling out loud and looking for opportunities to practice their Yiddishâ€”with help from the handy glossary at the end of the book.
- Reading level: Ages 4 and up
- Hardcover: 32 pages
- Publisher: Putnam Juvenile (February 1, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0399246088
- ISBN-13: 978-0399246081
- Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 10.5 x 0.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
From Publishers Weekly
With this endearing if uneven parody of "Five Little Ducklings," Horowitz (The Ugly Pumpkin) initiates youngsters into the joys of Yiddish—just in time for Passover. After explaining what gefilte fish is (though non-Jewish readers may not be helped much by a definition that compares them to "matzo balls made out of fish"), the author sends the five title characters out of their jar to explore New York City. Mama Gefilte's cries of "Oy vey!" meeting with decreasing success as, one by one, the gefiltes are lured away: "One little gefilte went out one day./ A big yellow taxi schlepped him away./ Mama Gefilte cried out 'Oy vey!'/ but not a single gefilte came back that day." Comic asides abound, enabling Horowitz to stuff even more Yiddishisms into his story, including the always evocative "tuches" and "plotz." Of course, all the gefiltes do eventually come back to their meshugana Mama " 'cause each was a mensch!" Horowitz's gefiltes actually do look an awful lot like matzo balls, but their hats give them character, and his compositions play up the puns (e.g., a movie ad for Goldie Lox and the 3 Schmears). Simms Taback's Kibitzers and Fools this is not. Think of this as pretty tasty schmear. All ages. (Feb.) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2—Remember the five little ducks that wandered away from their mama? In this parody, the troublesome offspring are balls of chopped fish traditionally served as an appetizer to a Jewish meal. The gefiltes wander across an early-20th-century New York City, visiting theaters and delicatessens, swimming in the bay, and riding in a yellow cab, with a smaller number returning home each time. Whenever she loses a child, Mama Gefilte cries out, "Oy Vey!," and the book is well spiced with Yiddish phrases and New York speech patterns. Of course, all ends happily when the five gefiltes return, because "each was a mensch" (a really good person). With the right adult guidance, this story may amuse youngsters while helping them to absorb some Yiddish. It might even encourage them to expand their tastes-although gefilte fish is not a dish popular with kids, who are more likely to agree with the character who utters "Feh! that's disgusting." It's silly, but all in good fun.—Heidi Estrin, Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel, Boca Raton, FL Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Average Customer Review (25 customer reviews)
My two year old shouts 'Oy Vey' with gusto!, By Mama 'Mama'
June 1, 2007
I overheard an amused mom reading this aloud to her daughter and then, after they put it down, I grabbed it and bought it. We love reading it aloud and my kids shout 'oy vey' which cracks me up! I also love having them try out some of the yiddish words that are funny flourishes throughout the book.
Best Children's Book EVER!!!, By R. Hughes 'seattle shiksa'
June 8, 2010
As a nanny I've read hundreds of books with children and none compares to Five Little Gefiltes! It's a delight to have young children react with such joy and enthusiasm as I read to and with them. Nothing compares to the sound of a giddy child yelling 'Oy vey!' Except maybe the sound of a child yelling 'I'm gonna plotz!' It's become a favorite book of every child I've read it to. Such chutzpah this book has! ;)
great and funny, By Shelly P. Scribner
February 18, 2009
This is a very humorfulled book. I can't wait to see the reactions of my very young nieces and nephews.It depicts a humor filled story that makes me chuckle.