Five Lit­tle Gefiltes

Dave Horowitz
  • Review
By – April 2, 2012
Five lit­tle smil­ing Gefilte fish balls wear­ing top hats (one is always whistling) greet us on the cov­er of this amus­ing par­o­dy of the Five Lit­tle Ducks” song. They go out dai­ly from their jar to expe­ri­ence city life, bounc­ing down the wrought iron fire escape, tak­ing in a play”, swim­ming in the bay, crash­ing the deli buf­fet” and get­ting shlepped away” in a big yel­low taxi. Unfor­tu­nate­ly for Mama Gefilte, one less gefilte returns each day, caus­ing her to cry out OY VEY” in con­ster­na­tion, until they all return hap­pi­ly to where the babush­ka-wear­ing Mama fish ball sits on her park bench. She stops kvetch­ing, and now kvells with hap­pi­ness. The fun­ny asides on sig­nage and with­in the illus­tra­tions are clever inside Yid­dish jokes for the old­er crowd, but the book stands on its own as a delight­ful frol­ic through New York’s Jew­ish scene. This book needs to be sung — the zanier the bet­ter! Share with some lit­tle kids ASAP — just avoid serv­ing Gefilte fish to those who won’t appre­ci­ate it!

Read­ing Guide

Lisa Sil­ver­man is direc­tor of Sinai Tem­ple’s Blu­men­thal Library in Los Ange­les and a for­mer day school librar­i­an. She is the for­mer chil­dren’s book review edi­tor of Jew­ish Book World.

Discussion Questions