Shlemazel and the Remarkable Spoon of Pohost

Shlemazel and the Remarkable Spoon of Pohost by Ann Redisch Stampler, illustred by Jacqueline M. Cohen.

I enjoy folklore tremendously, and this traditional Jewish folktale makes a wonderful picture book, especially paired with the folksy illustrations of Cohen.  Shlemazel is convinced that he doesn’t have any luck, so he refuses to work or try to do anything at all.  Then clever Moshke comes up with a plan to trick Shlemazel into trying.  He gives him a spoon that he calls “the amazing, remarkable spoon of Pohost,”  telling Shlemazel that it will help him find his luck.  And does it?  Well, of course it does!  This is a folktale after all.

The treat of this picture book is in the language and the ease with which it is written.  The dialogue flows, each character has a unique tone, and you will find yourself reading aloud with a lilt of an accent that matches the story.  It is a real joy to find such a winning traditional tale.

When Giants Come to Play

When Giants Come to Play by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by Kevin Hawkes.

This magical picture book tells the story of what happens when two giants come to play with Anna.  From hide and seek to jump rope, they have a wonderful time.  Each game and activity is done in a giant sort of way.  Trees are pulled out when they pick peaches, cars are raced with real cars, and Anna’s older sister is used as their dolly.  The illustrations are soft and reflect an old-fashioned feel, but are enlivened by a real sense of humor. 

Share this one for giant storytimes or as a real treat for any preschooler or kindergartener.  It is a lot of fun.