In the Market of Zakrobat by Ori Elon is a cute picture book with a wonderful message. This book is a retelling of a Jewish folktale based on Yosef Moker Shabbos who always honors Shabbat, the Jewish day of rest.
Baltosar is a rich man who lives in a giant fortress in the town of Zakrobat. He has 12 locked chests filled with gold coins. Despite all the riches, he lives frugally and is proud of it. Though, the people see him as stingy, and not careful.
From his high tower, Baltosar sees the hut of his poor neighbor–Yosef, a cobbler. He doesn’t even have money to buy shoes for himself, but on every Shabbat, he cooks elaborate meals for his daughter, Zohar. He is poor, yet he is happy; which leaves Baltosar bewildered.
A scary dream results in Baltosar coming up with the perfect scheme to keep his riches safe from Yosef. Unfortunately, much to his disappointment, his elaborate plan fails.
The illustrations by Menahem Halberstadt are colorful, evocative and truly delightful. They are sure to attract young readers. In fact, I requested for this book only because of the cover picture!
I would recommend this book for early readers as the vocabulary is simple, and they might be able to read this freely on their own or with a little assistance. The story is easy to understand, even for non-Jewish readers who may not be aware of Jewish customs and rituals. Yosef’s repetitive verses were delightful and made for an interesting read.
This story conveys valuable lessons in a simple manner. Children would understand the importance of sharing, and also how our thoughts and actions impact our lives.
Wordsopedia rating 4/5
|Title: In the Market of Zakrobat||Author: Ori Elon|
|Publisher: Green Bean Books||Publication date: September 30th 2021|
|Genre: Fiction–Children’s Literature||Format: Paperback|
|ISBN: 9781784386528||No. of Pages: 32|
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