Saturday, July 7, 2007

BookSprouting Review: Something From Nothing by Phoebe Gilman

Something From Nothing

Reading Level: Ages 4-8

Hardcover-Reprint, 32 pages

Published: October 1993

Estimated Price: $18.95 USD

This gem of a book may be difficult to find, but I assure you, it’s worth the hunt. Although not an original story, this Yiddish folktale has taken many versions. Still, Something From Nothing rules over them all. The story is about Joseph and his grandfather’s gift to him when he was born: a blanket. As Joseph ages, the blanket takes many forms as it too ages and must be altered. When finally the blanket is lost entirely, Joseph is crushed and even his grandfather admits that he cannot make something from nothing. Joseph’s decision of how to continue after his loss is something truly remarkable and heart-warming. The quaint illustrations tell stories in their own right that will have children marvelling over the sweet little nuances long after they have read the text. Each depiction contains the richness of the old-world and is an excellent tool in teaching or celebrating Jewish culture and traditions. The story is one of appreciation for the simple things in life provided by the loved-ones who mean the most to us, which is a thing to remember in this day of forgetfulness for what truly matters.

4 out of 5 sprouts

1 comment:

Odile S said...


Thanks for this title. It will be even more difficult to find this book here in the Netherlands, but I'm going to try.