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NPR Names Shlemiel Crooks Recommended Holiday Book

Noted children’s book reviewer Daniel Pinkwater called NewSouth’s Shlemiel Crooks ‚Äúa hilarious book‚Äù during NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday on December 16, 2006. In a conversation with NPR’s Scott Simon, Pinkwater included Shlemiel Crooks as one of only seven of his recommended 2006 holiday books. Listen to the full segment at

Based on a true story, Shlemiel Crooks is an imaginative introduction for young children to the history of Passover, as Pharaoh and a town of Jewish immigrants play tug-of-war with wine made from grapes left over from the exodus from Egypt. In its Yiddish-inflected English, punctuated by amusing curses, young readers hear the language of a Jewish community of another time, while delighting to brilliant illustrations on every page, making this a perfect present for both Passover and Hanukkah. No other children’s book has Pharaoh’s ghost coming back to “pull one over on the Jews,” nosy neighbors making a “shtuss” outside, and a talking horse that sounds like it has a “little indigestion!”

Shlemiel Crooks is a 2006 Sydney Taylor Honor Book and a 2006 Koret International Jewish Book Award Finalist. To order the book, visit,, or your favorite local or online book retailer.