A Sack Full of Feathers is precisely what Yankel needs to teach him a lesson. Yankel loves to tell his friends the stories he hears about the townspeople when they come in to his father’s shop. Yankel gets so excited to tell his stories that he only hears them partially and then tells the half-truths to his friends. The story can be read alone by mid-elementary school students or read aloud by a parent. The illustrator is known for her spotted cats that appear throughout the book. The paintings are colorful and joyous, indicative of the joy of the “old country.” The wise rabbi sees what Yankel is doing and teaches him, in a very hands-on way, this important lesson. This tale sticks with the familiar format of other Jewish folktales, with a lesson that even young children can understand. Recommended for ages 4 – 8.
Rachel Rosner is the Director of the Jewish Book Festival in Rochester, NY. She also runs Jewish Family Programs for the JCC, and has worked there since 1994. She holds a degree in Early Childhood Education from Syracuse University.