It Could Always Be Worse

( 3 )

Overview

Once upon a time a poor unfortunate man lived with his mother, his wife, and his six children in a one-room hut.

Because they were so crowded, the children often fought and the man and his wife argued. When the poor man was unable to stand it any longer, he ran to the Rabbi for help.

As he follows the Rabbi's unlikely advice, the poor man's life goes from bad to worse, with increasingly uproarious results. In his little hut, silly calamity ...

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Overview

Once upon a time a poor unfortunate man lived with his mother, his wife, and his six children in a one-room hut.

Because they were so crowded, the children often fought and the man and his wife argued. When the poor man was unable to stand it any longer, he ran to the Rabbi for help.

As he follows the Rabbi's unlikely advice, the poor man's life goes from bad to worse, with increasingly uproarious results. In his little hut, silly calamity follows foolish catastrophe, all memorably depicted in full-color illustrations that are both funnier and lovelier than any this distinguished artist has done in the past.
 

It Could Always Be Worse is a 1977 New York Times Book Review Notable Children's Book of the Year and Outstanding Book of the Year, and a 1978 Caldecott Honor Book.

Unable to stand his overcrowded and noisy home any longer, a poor man goes to the Rabbi for advice.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

The familiar tale of the simple villager whose house was so crowded and noisy, he went to the Rabbi for help. . .Never has the tale been made into a picture book of such beauty and gusto." --Starred, The Horn Book

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A poor man who lives with his family in a very crowded house complains about his lot, until the rabbi, to whom he has gone for advice, tells him to bring in the farm animals as well, and he realizes how lucky he really is. PW declared, ``Zemach's colorful and lusty paintings are hilariously illustrative of the absurd doings.'' (3-up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374436360
  • Publisher: Square Fish
  • Publication date: 9/1/1990
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 123,469
  • Age range: 3 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD650L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.62 (w) x 8.19 (h) x 0.08 (d)

Meet the Author

Margot Zemach (1931-89) was born in Los Angeles, California. She began illustrating stories by her husband, Harve, in 1959, and their subsequent collaborations led to many enduring children's books, including The Judge: An Untrue Tale, a Caldecott Honor Book; A Penny a Look, an ALA Notable Book; and Duffy and the Devil, recipient of the Caldecott Medal.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 23, 2011

    You Think You Have It Bad!

    A great tale for those times in everyone's life when the world has gotten you down. Perfect for helping to develop resilience in young children for future times of whoa. A family favorite.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2007

    It Could ALWAYS Be Worse

    The Yiddish folk tale ¿It Could Always Be Worse¿ is retold and illustrated by Margot Zemach. It was published in 1976 and it is a 1978 Caldecott Honor book. Zemach was born in 1931 and died on May 21, 1989. She was an illustrator for over forty children books, which were mostly adaptations of folk tales from different places of the world. ¿It Could Always Be Worse¿ is a tale about a poor man, his mother, his wife, and his six children. They live together in a one room hut, and it was very crowded. ¿The hut was full of crying and quarreling,¿ and the man couldn¿t take it anymore. So, one day, he ran to the Rabbi for help. ¿Holy Rabbi,¿ he cried, ¿things are in a bad way with me, and getting worse.¿ He told the Rabbi what was happening, and the Rabbi kindly tells the man to take his farm animals into the hut with him and his family. The man done what the Rabbi told him to do, but things only got worse. The man kept going to the Rabbi for help, but he told the man the same thing each time. The poor man already had a hard enough time living in the one room hut with his family, but now he was living with some chickens, a rooster, a goose, a goat, and a cow. Will things get better for the poor man or will they just keep getting worse? This book is brilliant. It teaches a very important lesson to children, which is to be thankful for what you have. The illustrations are marvelous and very entertaining as well. The text is written very well and the story is just outstanding. Children will definitely have a fun time with this book while reading the wonderful text and looking at the warm illustrations. The reading level for this book is ages 4 to 8. Zemach, Margot. It Could Always Be Worse. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1976.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2006

    Caldecott Honor: It Could Always Be Worse

    This is a Yiddish folk tale retold by Margot Zemach. It is a tale of a husband, wife, husband¿s mother, and six children. They live in a one room hut where it is very crowded. Everything is driving the man crazy with all the crying and noise. The man goes to the rabbi for help. ¿Holy Rabbi,¿ he cried, ¿things are in a bad way with me, and getting worse.¿ The rabbi keeps telling the man to add his farm animals into the house. Once all the animals are in the house, the man goes back to the rabbi. This time the rabbi tells the man to let all the animals out of the house. Now, the man is happy and thanks the rabbi for making his life better. This tale is retold and illustrated by Margot Zemach. Zemach¿s career began by illustrating stories by her husband. They collaborated thirteen books together. She has received numerous awards for her books. The illustrations are warm and eye-popping. Zemach, Margot. It Could Always Be Worse. New York: Sunburst, 1976. Reading level: Ages 4-8

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