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The Wooden Sword: A Jewish Folktale from Afghanistan Hardcover – February 1, 2012
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"Despite the man's hardships, the simple yet elegant prose reinforces his optimistic refrain that 'everything turns out just as it should.' The lush, detailed backgrounds of the spreads bring to life the various settings....Ideal for those looking to add ethnic diversity to their folktale collections." School Library Journal
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Though the shah in Afghanistan tries to test his faith, a poor Jewish shoemaker maintains his belief that all happens for the best.
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He finds a poor Jewish shoemaker and his wife who invite the shah to share their Shabbat food. The shoemaker explains that "If one path is blocked, God leads me to another, and everything turns out just as it should."
The shah decides to test the shoemaker's faith with a series of decrees.
The shoemaker never loses his faith, despite adversity, and is rewarded in the end.
The book is well-researched and beautifully illustrated
This book presents young children with a new interpretation of a classic Afghani Jewish folktale. The setting provides a good opportunity to discuss with children how the realities of poverty and job loss in developing countries may differ from the rosier version in the folktale. Parents and teachers seeking to diversify their collection of fairytales and folktales will want to consider this cheerfully illustrated Afghani rendition.
A version of this review, by the author of A Dozen Daisies for Raizy, will appear in the Chanukah 2012 CitySpirit Magazine.
Funny trickster ending -- my kids love this book.
If you like using children's books to talk about the Constitutional values of limited government and personal property, also try "That Rabbit Belongs to Emily Brown" That Rabbit Belongs to Emily Brown