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Kishka for Koppel
By author: Aubrey Davis   Illustrated by: Sheldon Cohen
Selling Points: Judaica, humor, gratitude
ISBN: 9781554692996
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: Oct/01/2011
Pages: 32
Picture Book
Availability: In stock.
Price:  $19.95
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Koppel plunked the meat grinder down on the table.
    "Tell her what you told me," he said.
    Yetta rolled her eyes. "Oy vey, he's talking to a meat grinder."
    "Tell her!" shouted Koppel.
    The meat grinder was silent.
    "Does it know any chicken jokes?" Yetta giggled. "It sings 'My Yiddishe Mama' maybe?"


In this fresh take on a classic tale, a magic meat grinder helps a poor Jewish couple learn a little gratitude after the three wishes it grants them go awry. A cautionary story that questions today's consumerism and excessiveness, Kishka for Koppel, like the best folktales, can help children and adults alike to look both beyond and within.
Jewish Book World - June 1, 2012
[Starred review] "A captivating fresh take on the classic folktale teaching us 'Be careful what you wish for.'...The author's sense of humor gleams throughout, giving a sense of comedy to the events as they transpire...The lovely acrylic illustrations by Sheldon Cohen are folksy, whimsical, and filled with bright colors. They perfectly complement the light tone of the story."
Canadian Children's Book News - April 1, 2012
"Based on the popular three-wishes motif, this version has its own unique vitality and flavour. The old-time Jewish humour and vocabulary as well as the fast-paced sassy dialogue all add an appealing piquancy...The meat grinder is portrayed with its own personality, and the characters of Koppel and Yetta are realistically lovable. With their human foibles and frailties, they demonstrate that true happiness does not lie in material wealth, a salutary lesson for all. Sheldon Cohen, award-winning animator and illustrator, has created rich, colourful acrylic artwork full of wry observation. Subtle details, such as hilarious facial expressions, demonstrate the many fluctuations of mood, and the artful whimsy is in perfect harmony with the drollery of the text. This story, adapted from a 2007 movie, is another great example of Aubrey Davis's ability to give an old tale an ethnic twist. It is an appealing addition for all collections and an irresistible read aloud for story time."
Library Media Connection - March 1, 2012
"Rendered in acrylic paints, Cohen's humorous illustrations, depicting characters with exaggerated expressions, add much to the story's humor."
The Canadian Jewish News - December 5, 2011
"A heartwarming tale of magic and unbelievable events in the lives of a poor husband and wife, Koppel and Yetta...Aubrey Davis has written a clever, playful story for young children loaded with wondrous surprises, happiness, a bit of heartbreak, a lot of kishka and a great deal of special meaning. Sheldon Cohen’s illustrations are full-bodied, richly coloured and add extra nuance to Davis’ words. Young readers will be delighted with the story."
Booklist - December 1, 2011
"A fresh take on [an] old tale...Cohen's folksy acrylic art features oversize eyes and exaggerated facial expressions well suited to Davis' borscht belt–style comedic retelling...Should be popular with storytellers and listeners alike."
School Library Journal - November 1, 2011
"The naive, folksy cartoon illustrations are expressive and lend a lighthearted air with their varying perspectives and bright acrylic colors. The storytelling is lively and humorous. The Yiddish speech patterns will amuse readers familiar with that style."
CM Magazine - October 14, 2011
"Davis's skill as an animated storyteller and performer shines through as does his sense of humour in the retelling...The story moves forward with delightful dialogue between Yetta and Koppel. The occasional colourful bold print of text adds to the rollicking nature of the tale. Bright cartoon-like illustrations suit the nature of the story...The energetic folk art displayed here will become another successful addition to Sheldon Cohen's impressive career in the illustration, animation and painting of children's stories. This well recognized and multi award-winning duo of Aubrey Davis and Sheldon Cohen have created magic with a captivating and whimsical folktale, one that teaches readers to 'be careful what you wish for!' Highly Recommended."
Kirkus Reviews - August 31, 2011
"The tale is told in rapid-fire dialogue appropriately reminiscent of borscht-belt humor...Cohen's acrylic paintings facing the text add to the humor...A fresh look at an old favorite."

Awards

PJ Library Selection, commended  US  2011
CCBC Best Books, commended  CA  2012

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