Young Aaron wants to learn how to speak to the chickens like his Zayde (grandfather). Zayde's stories and his many books, with their mysterious worlds and their guarded secrets, fascinate Aaron. But always Aaron is too young to learn Yiddish. Zayde thinks that Aaron, and all the new generation of American Jews, should speak English and play baseball–just like all Americans do. When Zayde becomes very old and can no longer see well enough to read his precious books, Aaron decides it is time that Zayde teach him to speak to the chickens before it's too late. This poignant tale about preserving a dying language and the memories of the people who spoke it is also an eloquent tale of America. The importance of heritage and culture, and of honoring the past while building a future, is instilled in young minds through this touching story.
|Product dimensions:||10.39(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.39(d)|
|Age Range:||7 - 11 Years|
About the Author
Richard Michelson is a prize-winning poet whose work has been praised by Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel as "deeply moving." His many children's books include TEN TIMES BETTER, A BOOK OF FLIES: REAL AND OTHERWISE and ANIMALS THAT OUTGHT TO BE, both illustrated by the late Caldecott Honor artist Leonard Baskin, and GRANDPA'S GAMBLE, illustrated by American Book Award winner Barry Moser. Richard now lives in Massachusetts with his wife and two children. He is the owner of R. Michelson Galleries, which represents many of the country's most prominent children's book illustrators.
Read an Excerpt
All afternoon, Aaron helped carry—or shlep, as his grandpa, Zayde, called it—boxes of books up the apartment-house stairs. Bubbeh, Aaron’s grandma, had died less than a month ago, and now Zayde was going to share Aaron’s own small room.
“Papa,” Aaron’s father complained, “the room is tiny. Too many books!”
But Zayde just waved his hand and opened the top dresser drawer. “The highest for di poetn,” he said. Then he filled drawers two and three with stories and plays. In the bottom drawer he folded his underwear, two pairs of pants, three shirts, his tefillin, and a stack of clean white handkerchiefs. His prayer shawl he draped over the back of the one wooden chair.
“Haym,” he said, smiling. “Home.” And he gave Aaron a big hartzig hug.
Excerpted from "Too Young for Yiddish"
Copyright © 2002 Richard Michelson.
Excerpted by permission of Charlesbridge.
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