Oy, Feh, So?

Cary Fagan; Gary Clement, illus.
  • Review
By – September 12, 2013
Cana­di­an author Cary Fagan has brought the famil­iar fam­i­ly vis­it expe­ri­enced by most Jew­ish baby boomers into sto­ry­book form so it can be told to chil­dren and grand­chil­dren. Yes, it is a children’s book, yet it is for the child in all of us. The three unnamed chil­dren are pre­pared for the dread­ed Sun­day vis­it of their two aunts and uncle and the pre­dictable bore­dom that will shad­ow the house. The aunts and uncle have no oth­er response but Oy, Feh, and So? to any ques­tion or com­ment that the chil­dren or the par­ents offer. When the chil­dren hatch a plan to rile up the rel­a­tives, none of their antics pro­duce a change until a sis­ter imi­tates an aunt and the oth­er two chil­dren join in, imi­tat­ing the oth­er aunt and uncle. Shall we say, The ice is bro­ken”? The aunts and uncle begin to laugh at the children’s inter­pre­ta­tion of them­selves and each oth­er. That is all it takes for the three of them to see them­selves in the chil­dren. The sto­ries of their own youth are then told and the chil­dren beg them for more sto­ries of their adven­tures. The six of them have found a way to com­mu­ni­cate! The chil­dren learn that beyond the sur­face of each fam­i­ly mem­ber, there is a sto­ry to be told. The aunts and uncle are able to recon­nect not only with the chil­dren, but with them- selves, as well. They start to feel the laugh­ter and joy that can be present in life, if we only allow our­selves to see it. This is a won­der­ful, fun read and is humor- ous­ly and col­or­ful­ly illus­trat­ed. It would be use­ful, as well, with­in a class­room set­ting when dis­cussing first impres­sions and the real­iza- tion that every adult was once a child and has spe­cial mem­o­ries to share. Rec­om­mend­ed for ages 4 – 8
Chris­tine Maas­dam holds a Mas­ters in Human­i­ties, cer­ti­fi­ca­tions in Muse­um Stud­ies and Cul­tur­al Prop­er­ty Pro­tec­tion. She is cur­rent­ly com­plet­ing her M.L.I.S. Her inter­ests are phi­los­o­phy and the impact of art and tech­nol­o­gy on culture.

Discussion Questions