isaac bashevis singer

Readaloud of the Week: Zlateh the Goat and Other Stories

Zlateh the Goat and Other Stories
By Isaac Bashevis Singer

In brief: Isaac Bashevis Singer and Maurice Sendak teamed up on this collection of Yiddish seven short stories about the foolish people who live in the village of Cheim. In the title story, a young boy saves the family goat after the goat saves him during an unexpected snowstorm; in “The Mixed-Up Feet and the Silly Bridegroom,” four sisters who sleep in the same bed wake up unable to tell whose feet belong to whom.


What makes it a great readaloud: Well, for starters, Isaac Bashevis Singer and Maurice Sendak! But it’s also great to find a book that really immerses your family in another time and another culture—these Eastern European folk tales illuminate another world, full of Jewish holidays and unusual humor.


But be aware: Some of the cultural context of the book may be unfamiliar to your family, so you may want to be prepared to Google or read it in advance to check for things you might want to explain as you’re reading.


Quotable: From the Foreword: “I dedicate this book to the many children who had no chance to grow up because of stupid wars and cruel persecutions which devastated cities and destroyed innocent families. I hope that when the readers of these stories become men and women they will love not only their own children but all good children everywhere.”