Noshy Boy loves to eat, Shmutzy Girl is always dirty. In each of theselittle picture books, printed on heavy cardstock that is hard to keepopen, they are shown behaving true to their Yiddish names andinteracting with a few other characters like Keppy Girl, who “reads alot and usually knows what she’s talking about.” Despite the sprinklingof Yiddish, neither story has any particular Jewish content. Noshy Boy learns to eat healthier foods and “feels better for it.” Shmutzy Girlcomes to understand that “being shmutzy didn’t make her good or bad,smart or dumb, happy or sad…and that’s just fine.” (Not everyone,including parents, will agree!) Although their purpose is didactic,these cheerful stories are told with a light touch and decorated withchild-like pictures rendered with a minimum of detail and flat, brightcolors. Noshy Boy contains a glossary of Yiddish words. Additional purchases for ages 3 – 6.
Linda R. Silver is a specialist in Jewish children’s literature. She is editor of the Association of Jewish Libraries’ Jewish Valuesfinder, www.ajljewishvalues.org, and author of Best Jewish Books for Children and Teens: A JPS Guide (The Jewish Publication Society, 2010) and The Jewish Values Finder: A Guide to Values in Jewish Children’s Literature (Neal-Schuman, 2008).
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