Gittel's Hands

Gittel's Hands

by Erica Silverman, Deborah Nourse Lattimore
     
 

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In a tiny Polish village, Gittel is asked to perform impossible tasks when her father boasts of her skills. She must embroider a matzo cover without a needle and create an Elijah's cup from a single silver coin. Though Gittel feels discouraged, her kind heart and good deeds are soon rewarded by the prophet Elijah. Full color.  See more details below

Overview

In a tiny Polish village, Gittel is asked to perform impossible tasks when her father boasts of her skills. She must embroider a matzo cover without a needle and create an Elijah's cup from a single silver coin. Though Gittel feels discouraged, her kind heart and good deeds are soon rewarded by the prophet Elijah. Full color.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal - School Library Journal
K-Gr 4In the tradition of Rumpelstiltskin, this charming tale tells of a poor Jewish water carrier who lives in a shtetl in pre-war Eastern Europe with his loving, good-hearted, creative daughter. He boasts to the wealthy hay merchant that Gittel can outdo first the man's seamstress, and then his cook in return for some hay. The merchant cheats the girl's father by failing to provide her with a sewing needle and firewood for the stove. But Gittel does make a silver Elijah's cup, candlesticks, and Seder plates with the help of the prophet himself, who responds to her kindness toward a trapped dove, a starving cat, and a shivering beggar. Lattimore's deft use of oil pastels on watercolor paintings gives texture to her boldly colored, slightly askew scenes of the village, in which people and a brightly colored cat and bird float in the style of Marc Chagall. Hues of blue, green, pink, and yellow seem to flow like a great river across the pages, carrying the images along. Told in the careful words of a storyteller, with a bit of repetition thrown in for good measure, the story embodies the essence of the Passover holiday in a traditional folktale motif. Read aloud, it will delight young audiences.Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH
Kirkus Reviews
Elijah makes a miraculous appearance in this Passover tale of a boastful father and his wise and compassionate daughter, Gittel.

To pay a debt, Yakov makes exaggerated guarantees of Gittel's handiwork and loses his means for earning a living. Gittel's kindness toward a trapped dove, a starving cat, and a shivering beggar earn the intervention of the prophet Elijah, who provides her with the tools and skill to make exquisite silver goods for the Passover seder, ensuring a fine livelihood for her and her chastened father. Silverman (Fixing the Crack of Dawn, 1994, etc.) renders Gittel's story in the manner of a folktale, burnished with motifs from the Rumpelstiltskin story. Lattimore, taking her cue from Chagall, creates scenes alight with the rhythms and colors of stained glass, where pink doves and green cats mingle with the floating figures and dancing houses of a snowbound shtetl. Readers familiar with Passover traditions will love the story most; others will find the glossary a useful page for learning more.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780816737994
Publisher:
Troll Communications L.L.C.
Publication date:
03/01/1998
Product dimensions:
9.05(w) x 10.05(h) x 0.18(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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