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Yossi and the Monkeys: A Shavuot Story Paperback – January 1, 2017
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"Only peripherally about Shavuot, this story is reminiscent of the classic Caps for Sale, in that it involves caps (kippahs) and monkeys. Yossi has no money for challah or blintzes to celebrate Shavuot, so his wife Malka makes three kippahs for Yossi to sell in the market. When no one wants to buy them, he sits down to rest beneath a tree, and when he wakes, the kippahs are gone, stolen by a monkey swinging through the branches above him. Sound familiar? The adorable monkey, whom Yossi names Zelig (blessing) attracts customers so that Yossi leaves the market with some rubles in his pocket, enough to buy vegetables for soup, an apple for Zelig, and fabric for Malka to make more kippahs. Man and monkey continue to sell kippahs until one day it rains, and Zelig disappears.
Though cheerfully illustrated, this derivative story is more about friendship than Shavuot, and adding a blintz doesn’t make it more so. An additional holiday choice for readers, but cute enough otherwise."--Jewish Book Council
"Hoping to earn some extra money to buy challah, blintzes, and flowers for Shavuot, a man named Yossi sets out with three kippahs, sewn by his wife, which are promptly stolen by a monkey as Yossi naps under a tree. Just when things are starting to resemble a Jewish riff on Esphyr Slobodkina’s classic Caps for Sale, MacLeod turns the monkey into a help, rather than a menace: his playful presence (and juggling talent) make him a perfect sales sidekick, and soon Yossi’s business is booming. The story takes some odd turns from there―it turns out that the monkey, dubbed Zelig, belongs to a traveling circus, requiring some negotiation between Yossi and the circus manager, as well as kippahs for eight other performing monkeys―but Waisman sustains a kooky atmosphere in her brightly colored images of round-headed, red-nosed monkeys and big-eyed villagers."--Publishers Weekly(Journal)
About the Author
Jennifer Tzivia MacLeod is a proud mother of four children. A freelance writer for magazines, newspapers, and online publications, she lives in northern Israel with her family. She loves creating stories for her children and their friends
Shirley Waisman studied visual communication at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem. She illustrates children's books, magazines, textiles, and advertisements, experimenting with different kinds of techniques, styles, and materials. She lives in Israel.
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Author Jennifer Tzivia MacLeod has created a fun story sharing the Jewish holiday of Shavout. Lively illustrations are hilarious and full of color. Simple sentences make this story an excellent read for any beginner. Parents and teachers can start a discussion about Jewish culture.
There were smiles as Yossi exclaimed, “How about kippahs like mine?” He held up his kippah and soon Malka “made three beautiful kippahs that shone with the colors of the rainbow.” Off to town went Yossi, anxious to sell those kippahs to fill their plates for Shavuot. He stood on the cobblestone streets with his basket of kippahs beside him. No, no one wanted those kippahs. Sad and “discouraged, Yossi sat down to rest beneath a tree,” but he wasn’t alone. A monkey was looking down on him from a branch up above.
That monkey was up to no good because when Yossi “woke up, the kippahs were gone!” When Yossi looked up into the tree, he saw the money tossing the kippahs around as he stuck out his tongue, mocking him. “Give those back!” demanded Yossi, but the monkey ignored him. With an empty basket and no money for those braided challahs and blintzes, what was he possibly going to do for Shavuot? All of a sudden, the monkey came down from the tree and began to do something very strange. Would the silly monkey save the day for Yossi and his family?
This is a very fun and unique Shavuot tale that will delight young and old readers alike. Yossi was simply a man down on his luck until he met that rascal of a monkey. I definitely loved the way the story evolved and the little twists and turns that changed Yossi’s luck. Many tales about Jewish traditions and holidays don’t have the fun and the excitement that this one does. Children will love the monkey and his friends, friends that eventually save the day in a most unusual way. Shirley Waisman’s artwork is whimsical, animated, and very appealing. In the front of the book young children will learn more information about Shavuot. A fun, lively tale that’s a perfect way to discuss Shavuot!
JENNIFER TZIVIA MACLEOD:
Penguin Rosh Hashanah
Seven Special Gifts
Four Little Jewish Holiday Books: Rosh Hashanah, Chanukah, Pesach, Shavuot
This book courtesy of the publisher.
When I was a child, we had a few storybooks that would come out each year for Christmas – about snowmen or Santa Claus and his reindeer. It was a much loved family tradition. This book would be ideal for a Jewish family creating their own traditions around Shavuot…and perfect for parents looking for a gift for the children in the run-up to Shavuot. Alternatively, it is simply a charming little book with lovely pictures and one that is ideal for Jewish families.