It's Not Worth Making a Tzimmes Over!

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Judy Silverman
This is a delightful little book that does not take itself too seriously as it introduces Yiddish words to a new generation. Unfortunately, the words are not defined until the glossary at the end, and I am not sure that the context supplies enough hints as to their meanings. Grandma and Sara begin to make challah one summer morning, but Sara pours her orange juice into the bowl by mistake. "It's not worth making a tzimmes over," says Grandma, and shows Sara how to continue mixing the dough. Sara is a little over enthusiastic when she adds the flour, so Grandma's gray hair turns white (!), as does Sara's jeans, and by the time the dough is kneaded, they are both ready for a break. After badminton, they begin watching an old horror movie on TV. The Blob is one of Grandma's favorite movies, and she forgets all about the dough. But Sara has added too much yeast, and the dough overflows the bowl and begins to take over the kitchen—no, not only the kitchen, but the entire house, pushing its way into the yard and beyond—but, "It's not worth making a tzimmes over," says Grandma. They borrow a neighbor's computer and print out invitations and baking instructions so that the neighborhood can share the dough. Soon the smell of orange-flavored challah fills the air. A policeman gets involved when he sees and smells the neighborhood, so Grandma gives him bread and jam and the recipe as well. Finally Sara's mother gets home, and all ends happily. A list of Yiddish words with their meanings—and of course the recipe—adds to the fun. My only problem is with the drawings, and it is a very minor one—but everyone looks so very young. I am not sure that many grandmothersunder age sixty would use Yiddish at all! But it is a fun story, recommended for anyone.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-Sara and her grandmother are making challah. When the child accidentally adds too much yeast to the dough, it grows to enormous proportions and begins spreading throughout the neighborhood, much like the movie The Blob. After they call the police-who laugh-Sara solves the problem by writing a note inviting all of the neighbors to bake the dough. Then she and her grandmother follow suit. The story is mildly entertaining, with lots of Yiddish terms and expressions tossed in. Grandma repeats the titular phrase every time something goes wrong. The text ends with a recipe for challah. The brightly colored, mixed-media illustrations are a bit blurred around the edges, and the splotchy color used for the characters' skin is rather off-putting, as are, at times, their faces. The depiction of a hip, motor-scooter-riding Grandma who uses a computer and bakes is certainly welcome. However, the lengthy text and overly purposeful use of Yiddish detract from the overall success of the book. Libraries with a great need for more humorous titles with Jewish characters may find a place for this slight offering, but most others can pass.-Amy Lilien-Harper, The Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
On a summer's Friday, Grandma and her granddaughter bake a challah, and while waiting for the dough to rise, go outside to play badminton. Grandma is none too good at this, so next they find an old horror movie, The Blob, to watch. Horror of horrors, they are overwhelmed by a massive blob of challah dough because granddaughter Sara put in way too much yeast. She saves the day by printing out flyers offering challah dough to the neighborhood. All in all, this is a very ordinary offering that does not rise to the level of usefulness in collections. Though Grandma peppers her language with a few Yiddish words that are translated in a glossary, her language is rooted in an earlier generation and the literary reference to Strega Nona is unworthy of the wonderful original. As the title says, this is not worth making a fuss over. (Includes a recipe for Challah a l'Orange) (Picture book. 4-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807536773
  • Publisher: Whitman, Albert & Company
  • Publication date: 3/28/2006
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.20 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.30 (d)

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