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Zlateh The Goat And Other Stories [Hardcover]

Isaac B Singer
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 10 2001
‘[A] delightful and distinguished book [of seven tales] from middle European folklore [by the winner of the 1978 Nobel Prize for Literature].' 'BL.

1967 Newbery Honor Book
Notable Children's Books of 1940–1970 (ALA)
1966 Fanfare Honor List (The Horn Book)
"Best of the Best" Children's Books 1966–1978 (SLJ)
Best Illustrated Children's Books of 1966 (NYT)
Children's Books of 1966 (Library of Congress)
Children's Books of the Year 1966 (CSA)


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From two masters who need no introduction comes a handsome reprint of the classic Newbery Honor book Zlateh the Goat and Other Stories. With wit and whimsy, Maurice Sendak illustrates seven tales about the legendary village of fools, Chelm, written by Isaac Bashevis Singer. Silly, outrageous, and sometimes poignant, the stories (translated from the Yiddish) reflect the traditions, heroes, and villains of middle European folklore. The devil makes an appearance more than once, as do the ever-so-foolish yet highly revered Elders of Chelm. In "The Mixed-Up Feet and the Silly Bridegroom," four sisters wake one morning to discover that their feet have become mixed up in the bed they share. A wise Elder advises their mother to whack the bed with a big stick, thus causing each girl to grab her own feet in pain and surprise. When their feet are sorted out, he then recommends, the sisters should be married off as soon as possible, to reduce the possibility of similar mix-ups in the future. Of course, none of them count on the breathtaking stupidity of the first bridegroom. Another not-so-clever fellow stars in "The First Shlemiel." When this man's wife asks him to do three things for her, he promptly and accidentally proceeds to breach each one of his promises, resulting in a baby with a bump on his head, an escaped rooster, and an emptied pot of jam. Somehow, though, possibly because ignorance is bliss, fools always come out on top in these wonderful stories, making for terrific read-aloud, laugh-aloud fun for the entire family. (All ages) --Emilie Coulter

Review

"Beautiful stories for children, written by a master." -- -- The New York Times

"Timeless tales with their subtle wisdom and universal appeal. Perfect read -- aloud fare for families." -- -- Parents' Magazine

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SOMEWHERE, sometime, there lived a rich man whose name was Kadish. Read the first page
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fool's paradise June 1 2002
Format:Hardcover
If your children love either Isaac Singer or Chelm, look no further than these seven tales. They will treasure the book always, because, as Singer noted in the Foreword to this 1966 volume, "In stories time does not vanish. Neither do men and animals. For the writer and his readers the creatures go on living forever. What happened a long time ago is still present." Singer dedicated the stories to "children who had no chance to grow up because of stupid wars and cruel persecutions" and hoped readers would grow into men and women who "love not only their own children but all good children everywhere." It's hard to imagine otherwise.
The book opens with a tale called "Fool's Paradise," in which Atzel, the son of Kadish grew up with an unheard of disease: He thought himself dead. Lazy by nature, he did nothing at all. His parents tried everything, and finally consulted Dr. Yoetz. After telling his parents to prepare a darkened room to look like paradise, with white satin sheets, the good physician came to examine the young man and pronounced him "dead." Delighted with this outcome, Atzel regained his appetite and energy, and remained animated until the next day. When exactly the same food was brought to him a winged angel told him, "In paradise, my lord, one always eats the same food." On asking the time of day, he was told "In paradise there is neither day nor night."
Atzel could not meet with anyone, do anything, see his parents or his beloved, whom he was told was mourning him but would meet another young man and marry him instead. "That's how it is with the living." After eight days, Atzel began to see the value of living. He would rather chop wood and carry stones than stay in paradise, and would rather kill himself than stay there forever. At that point, Dr.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gently absurb Sept. 2 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This collection of small tales adorned with ironic comic cartoons are a delight to read. There is so much humour behind the narration.
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fool's paradise June 1 2002
By Alyssa A. Lappen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
If your children love either Isaac Singer or Chelm, look no further than these seven tales. They will treasure the book always, because, as Singer noted in the Foreword to this 1966 volume, "In stories time does not vanish. Neither do men and animals. For the writer and his readers the creatures go on living forever. What happened a long time ago is still present." Singer dedicated the stories to "children who had no chance to grow up because of stupid wars and cruel persecutions" and hoped readers would grow into men and women who "love not only their own children but all good children everywhere." It's hard to imagine otherwise.

The book opens with a tale called "Fool's Paradise," in which Atzel, the son of Kadish grew up with an unheard of disease: He thought himself dead. Lazy by nature, he did nothing at all. His parents tried everything, and finally consulted Dr. Yoetz. After telling his parents to prepare a darkened room to look like paradise, with white satin sheets, the good physician came to examine the young man and pronounced him "dead."

Delighted with this outcome, Atzel regained his appetite and energy, and remained animated until the next day. When exactly the same food was brought to him a winged angel told him, "In paradise, my lord, one always eats the same food." On asking the time of day, he was told "In paradise there is neither day nor night."

Atzel could not meet with anyone, do anything, see his parents or his beloved, whom he was told was mourning him but would meet another young man and marry him instead. "That's how it is with the living." After eight days, Atzel began to see the value of living. He would rather chop wood and carry stones than stay in paradise, and would rather kill himself than stay there forever. At that point, Dr. Yoetz told Atzel he was not dead after all. Upon returning to the land of the living, Atzel married his beloved and became one of the most industrious and productive souls in the region. (Many souls now seeking paradise could benefit from this story.)

Not all Singer's fools lived in paradise. Some lived in Chelm, the village of idiots young and old. When it snowed on Hanukkah once, all of Chelm glittered like a silver tablecloth. The moon shone; the stars twinkled; the snow shimmered like pearls and diamonds. And the Elders of Chelm believed that a treasure had fallen from the sky. Rather than trample it, they planned to send a messenger to all the houses to tell the people to stay indoors until the treasure could be harvested. But how could the messenger tell them without himself destroying their riches? Suffice it to say the Chelmnicks ended no richer than they began, but for the laughter they provided to outsiders peering in through Singer's window.

My favorite story, though, is not funny at all. In Zlateh the Goat, the last and title tale, Rueven instructed his son Aaron to take his pet to the butcher to pay for the struggling family's Hanukkah celebrations. Heartbroken, the boy nevertheless heeded his father and set out, only to be overtaken by a snowstorm. I cannot tell what happened, except to say that the tale warms hearts to the core.

--- Alyssa A. Lappen
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars reaching for more when you're done Nov. 30 2004
A Kid's Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Zlateh the goat and other stories really tells you from the very beginning that the town, Chelm, is a village of fools. There are many stories in here, complete with lovely pencil drawings with great detail to go along with it. He finishes off the book with the story: Zlateh the Goat, just to leave you looking at the book after it's done, and wanting another copy. You might just hug this book to your chest when you're done, and since it has won a medal, that does not only symbolize that it is a great book. It also tells you that the very book you are looking at, about to hold in your hands, will teach you valuable lessons and charming stories.

Try it!!!!!! (And a great read aloud, too).
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it!!! Dec 23 2012
By mermaid76 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My 9 year old Daughter brought this book from School,when she read to me I fell in Love with it.She asked for it as Christmas present.Fast delivery.Thank you.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book Nov. 13 2012
By Tladdy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book for my son. His 5th grade class is reading it. He loves it! Great short stories inside.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I bought this book for myself Aug. 2 2007
By C. Hurwitz - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Singer and Sendak are an unbeatable combination. Sendak is amazing in what he can do with pen and ink (no color). I think those who are familiar with Yiddish culture would appreciate these stories more than those who are not.
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