Chil­dren’s

David and Goliath With a Twist: Fun­ny Clich­es that Tell the Clas­sic Story

Ben­jie Herskowtiz
  • Review
By – October 31, 2014

After clean­ing his room, Joshua’s moth­er rewards him with a bed­time sto­ry. At his request, she tells him the sto­ry of David and Goliath, but warns him: It’s a great sto­ry, but it may be a bit scary — so I hope you don’t get but­ter­flies in your stom­ach.” Addi­tion­al idioms pep­per her retelling. Goliath is described as being as big as a barn and armed to the teeth,” the Jew­ish peo­ple were at the end of their rope,” and David suc­ceed­ed with fly­ing col­ors.” Each phrase is empha­sized with a bold, out­lined, enlarged pur­ple text and Joshua imag­ines them lit­er­al­ly. While the illus­tra­tions are rather gar­ish and flat they do humor­ous­ly depict Goliath skat­ing on thin ice,” with a screw loose” and bark­ing up the wrong tree.” The phras­es are explained on the bot­tom of each page and a list of Cliché Def­i­n­i­tions” is append­ed to the back of the book. A cliché is a trite, stereo­typed expres­sion that has been overused but the author’s exam­ples seem more like idioms — phras­es that are not tak­en lit­er­al­ly. Nonethe­less, this is a fun retelling of the famil­iar sto­ry and an enter­tain­ing way to intro­duce young read­ers to both idioms and clichés. Rec­om­mend­ed for ages 4 – 8.

Rachel Kamin is the Direc­tor of the Joseph and Mae Gray Cul­tur­al & Learn­ing Cen­ter at North Sub­ur­ban Syn­a­gogue Beth El in High­land Park, Illi­nois. A past chair of the Syd­ney Tay­lor Book Award Com­mit­tee, Rachel is cur­rent­ly the co-edi­tor of Book Reviews for Chil­dren & Teens for the Asso­ci­a­tion of Jew­ish Libraries Newslet­ter. She holds a BA in his­to­ry from Grin­nell Col­lege and a master’s degree in library and infor­ma­tion sci­ence from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Michigan.

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