Book Review | Five Little Gefiltes
by Dave Horowitz

Score: 4

Illustrated by Dave Horowitz

© 2007, G.P. Putnam’s Sons.

I will admit, the first time I read this book I wondered what I was supposed to think? Should I be offended? Was this just the height of chutzpah to think that people would actually want to own a book about gefilte fish? I personally dislike gefilte fish. I cannot look at the stuff and even have someone else prepare it during Passover or any other holiday where my family wants to eat it. In addition, I am a Jew-by-Choice, so while I understood the humor, I felt that perhaps I was not relating to it properly. Therefore, doing what any dutiful reviewer would do, I tested the book on some Jews I know who like gefilte fish – my husband and daughter.

My husband works in the publishing industry. His cynicism runs deep. He absolutely loved this book, every part of it -the text, the illustrations, all of it. My daughter thought it was cute. Overall, this is a count down book about 5 gefilte fish who go out and about. Each day one gefilte goes missing. During their travels they visit a variety of New York Jewish landmarks from the deli to the theater district to the harbor. Eventually, of course, they all return home “’cause each was a mensch!”

The illustrations are charming and there is a lot to look at and discover. Adults will probably appreciate this picture book more than children in that the Yiddish and the allusions will have to be explained. Fortunately, there is a Yiddish glossary in the back of the book (the allusions you are on your own.)  Overall, this is a fun, silly read for everyone.

Lots of fun for the Passover Seder or anywhere that gefilte fish is served.

Grade Level: K-3

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