The Por­ridge Pot Goblin

Jacque­line Jules; Hec­tor Bor­las­ca, illus.

  • Review
By – September 29, 2022

Ben­ny and Rose are try­ing to help Mama by let­ting her sleep after her long, tir­ing night help­ing moth­ers and babies, when they sud­den­ly hear a mys­te­ri­ous sound. With Shab­bat approach­ing, they are work­ing hard to pre­pare; but they soon real­ize that there is a gob­lin on the loose, which means it’s time for action. If the gob­lin runs free, Shab­bat will be ruined — the kid­dush cup over­turned, the can­dles extin­guished, and all kinds of oth­er hav­oc wrought. Trap­ping the gob­lin inside the big por­ridge pot seems to be the best way to con­tain him. When the chil­dren suc­ceed, the gob­lin begs to be set free, and they watch him run back whence he came. These brave, hero­ic sib­lings have saved Shab­bat while let­ting their moth­er get her much-need­ed rest.

An author’s note reminds chil­dren that they can be braver than they think when an emer­gency occurs. This sim­ple, sweet, humor­ous ver­sion of an old Jew­ish folk­tale fea­tures bright, appeal­ing col­ors and por­trays friend­ly, help­ful chil­dren with cheer­ful atti­tudes and expres­sive faces.

Michal Hoschan­der Malen is the edi­tor of Jew­ish Book Coun­cil’s young adult and children’s book reviews. A for­mer librar­i­an, she has lec­tured on top­ics relat­ing to lit­er­a­cy, run book clubs, and loves to read aloud to her grandchildren.

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