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Algo de nada = Something for Nothing
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Algo de nada = Something for Nothing

4.37 of 5 stars 4.37  ·  rating details  ·  1,304 ratings  ·  103 reviews
When Joseph's cherished baby blanket becomes old and tattered, his grandfather turns it into a wonderful jacket. When the jacket is worn out, his grandfather makes it into a vest, a tie, a handkerchief, and, finally, a button. When the button is lost, Joseph decides to immortalize the blanket in a story.
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published January 1st 1998 by Lectorum Publications (first published January 1st 1989)
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Apr 06, 2014 Pam rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
A wonderful retelling of a Jewish folktale. This is the story of Joseph and the wonderful blanket his grandfather made for him. as Joseph gets older, so does the blanket. And Grandfather gets put to work to "fix it"; Grandfather remakes the blanket into smaller and smaller pieces of clothing. At the end, Joseph loses the last piece of clothing made from the blanket (a button). then Joseph writes about his blanket, making something from nothing.

There are actually two stories here, because if you
Kristina Maines
Something from Nothing is a Jewish folklore that has been passed down. In the story, Joseph's grandfather gave him a blanket when he was born. As Joseph grows, his grandfather fixes and changes the blanket to meet Joseph's new "older" needs. In the end, Joseph realizes that it is not the blanket/vest/button that matters, it is the stories and memories that come along with each stage of it.

This is a great read-aloud story for Kindergarten and 1st grade students. It is short, entertaining, and ha
This wonderfully illustrated book is a Jewish folktale that tells the story of a boy and his blanket. As the boy grows, his blanket is transformed into numerous items over the years. Each time, the boy’s grandfather takes the piece of the old cloth and creates something else out of it for the boy. The fabric gets smaller and smaller over time until it turns into a button. The boy loses the button and is devastated. In the end, he decides to write this journey on paper, thus he becomes a writer. ...more
Lisa Vegan
May 22, 2008 Lisa Vegan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everybody
Recommended to Lisa by: rivka
Beautifully illustrated with great detail (I do love the mice as much as the people!) and a truly lovely story (from a Jewish folktale) with an important message. As the last line in the book says, it’s a wonderful story.
How could I not love this book? It's about a kid who becomes a writer! The story is truly wonderful, and the illustrations are imaginative and beautifully drawn.
Great book! Another favourite of the grandchildren.
Something from Nothing, written and illustrated by Phoebe Gilman is one of my all time favourite children’s books. I have given many as gifts to nieces and nephews and friends’ children. In 1993 it was the Award Recipient of the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Award Recipient. This prestigious award was started in 1976, by Sylvia Schwartz’ to honour her sister Ruth’s memory. In 2004 the family renamed the award to honour both sisters. The awards continue today. In 1993 there was just on ...more
This is a retelling Jewish folktale which presents a little boy who has a favorite blanket and his mother tells him that it is getting old and rugged and that it was time to get rid of it. Joseph tells his mother that his grandfather could fix it. Yes, this book is a treasure. It is a beautiful and timeless tale. Joseph's grandfather is filled with love and wisdom. The flows of the words are poetically magical. The illustrations are beautiful. This book is a delightful to read with a child. In m ...more
This is my first review on goodreads! I am overwhelmed at the thought of keeping up with all the books I have read or am reading so I am just going to start with a harmless children's book.

I am always on the search for a nice children's book and this delivered. The story is a Jewish folktale about a piece of fabric that starts out as a blanket and as it gets worn over the years it gets fashioned into smaller and smaller- but ever useful- pieces of fabric. I've seen other versions of this story b
Molly Robbins
At the beginning of this story, the child receives a blanket from his grandfather. Throughout time and growing age, it continues to get worn out, so throughout the story, the blanket is made into a jacket, then vest, tie, handkerchief, then a button. He eventually loses the button but after that, they have enough to make a wonderful story. This book would be great to read to the class to teach them about different cultures, and how the child was extremely close to his grandfather. You could ask ...more
Summary: Joseph’s grandfather made him a wonderful baby blanket that becomes worn, but Joseph knows his grandfather, a tailor, can fix it. And so he does, again and again, creating different things for Joseph to wear until finally, the last bit is gone. But that’s not the end of the story!

I love Jewish folktales! This story is an adapted Jewish folktale I enjoyed from the first read. I like its repetitive refrain, warmth of family life, and richly colored illustrations. I was surprised it took m
This is a 4 1/2 stars for me, it almost got a 5 but I am holding back!!! This is a lovely story about what happens to a special baby blanket Grandpa made. As the child gets older the blanket becomes, a coat, vest, tie and button all fashioned by Grandpa's Hands. The illustrations on the book are lovely, the story is just a "warm fuzzy" .

Also I loved the pictures so much I went through it again. But this is a book you need to take a closer look at. At the bottom of the page, there are mice (whic
This folktale is about a boy named Joseph and the life of his baby blanket that his grandfather made for him. As Joseph grew older so did the blanket. It became tattered and torn and throughout the book, his grandfather had to keep transforming the blanket into different things. Things such as a jacket, vest, tie, and button. Joseph eventually loses the button but realizes he got a great story out of the whole life experience.

This book could be used to get the students to make something else fro
Jan 13, 2009 Mary rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Mary by: bought it at a school book fair
There are two charming stories revealed in this Jewish folktale--the verbal one of the blanket his grandfather makes and gives to baby Joseph; and the mice couple who become an elaborately dressed family under the floor as they use all the scraps that fall through the cracks. I think I always enjoy this book more than any of the kids I read it to.
I love the slice of village life that adorns each page; makes me think of Fiddler on the Roof, my favorite movie. I love the underlying theme of well
A retelling of a Jewish folktale with wonderful illustrations which give the reader a look at and feel for a small village, probably somewhere in Europe. No matter how small something appears to be it is indeed possible to create something from it, even if that something is only in our imaginations. This makes a good point for children and adults alike.
I grew up on this book. It is a wonderful story about reusing our possessions because of their sentimental value. A great showcase of recycling/upcycling too! The happenings in the family of mice's home at the bottom of every page also adds another layer to the story. Children will love this classic because of its repetition and element of predictability.
Kelly H. (Maybedog)
The illustrations in this traditional Jewish folktale are lovely and the story has a great moral of how things don't need to be thrown away, they can be repurposed into something else. The tale was a bit repetitious in the telling, but in the way children like such as how the wolf talks after each pig is introduced in The Three Little Pigs.
This book’s illustrations did a good job of showing the same material through the whole book. The pages in the beginning and in the end are the same material that is the main subject through the book, keeping the motif strong throughout the story. The main theme in the book is how to get something from nothing and you can see how the fabric starts so small and you can see how much it can do. You also get another picture story at the bottom of the page of a family of mice using it for the same re ...more
Valentin Eni
based on Joseph Had a Little Overcoat which again is based on the Yiddish song I Had a Little Overcoat very similar, almost identical with other Yiddish song I Have a Little Dreidel (Ikh Bin A Kleyner Dreydl)
Emily Taylor
Peritext: An old man sitting with a small boy on the front cover
Author: Phoebe Gilman
Themes: Re-using old things in new ways
Text: Standard
Thoughts: A story about a boy whose grandpa helps him to reuse a favourite item.
Working at a preschool, I have a lot of opportunity to see children's books. This book is one of the best. I like it for several reasons, but I will just mention three: 1) The grandfather is a tailor and makes his grandson, Joseph, a blanket. Joseph loves the blanket and when he outgrows it has his grandfather make it into something else. This pattern of making something out of something else continues through the book. I love the thriftiness this teaches. 2) Not only is grandfather thrifty, but ...more
Ramanda Flannery
This book is about a little boy who has a favorite blanket and his mother tells him that it is getting old and regged and that it was time to get rid of it. He tells his mother that his grandfather could fix it. His grandfather does fix it he turns it into a jacket. The story goes on like this until the blanket has been turned into nothing but a small button. The little boy loses the button and is very upset but finally calms down. He goes to school and is writing and says I think I can make thi ...more
Kelly Carey
A wonderful classic telling of a jewish fable -- for a more girly version check out "I Had A Favorite Dress" -- the detailed illustrations had a Jan Brett feel. Lovely snuggle in book.
Apr 20, 2008 Jodysegal rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: PreSchool-Grade 2
A retelling of the same Jewish folktale as Joseph Had a Little Overcoat. Pretty tempera paintings loaded with fun details illustrating life in an Eastern European shtetl will entertain children while they listen to a tale in which a worn, but beloved baby blanket is refashioned into smaller and smaller objects by a child's adored grandfather, and finally, by the child himself.

CIP:In this retelling of a traditional Jewish folktale, Joseph's baby blanket is transformed into ever smaller items as h
Lisa Carroll
This was a charming picture book that was based on a Jewish folktale. The story was charming and it helps children learn that sometimes it's best not to be wasteful and throw things away. There are times when we can reuse and item in a different way. The illustrations were amazing and this would be a wonderful book to add to a classroom. Children need to see pictures of representations of different cultures. This book shows several pictures of a lovely Jewish family who work, eat, and pray toget ...more
-Jewish Folktale
-When there is "nothing" left - the story becomes something to be cherished and passed along
-Relationship between grandfather and grandson
This Jewish folktale is about when Joseph was a baby. Joseph's grandfather made him a shimmering blue blanket adorned with the moon and stars. As the boy grows and the blanket wears out, the old tailor recycles it, in succession fashioning a jacket, a vest, a tie and, finally, a cloth-covered button. But when Joseph loses the button, even his grandfather cannot make something from nothing. Thankfully, it ends when the boy discovers one last use for his beloved keepsake. The text is repetition an ...more
I first heard about this book when I was helping out in a kindergarden classroom. The children loved it and completed an art project based on it. I loved the artwork within the book: beautiful watercolors illustrating the story, as well as a small story within the story if you look closely enough! I had to get my own copy. It is a story adapted from a Jewish folktale about a grandfather who transforms a piece of cloth into various garments for his grandson as he outgrows them. I would definitely ...more
this is a sweet story about a relationship between a grandfather and his grandson. the grandfather makes his grandson a blanket and as the boy grows and destroys the blanket the grandfather makes something new out of the material. i have a close relationship with my grandparents and they do everything to make their grandchildren happy. this story was kind of a reminder of that for me, how they’ll always be there for me, and will help me and teach me with whatever tools they may have, but most o ...more
Adorable - Old fashion refashioning at it's finest!
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What can I tell you about myself? I like to make up stories and draw pictures. I like to go ice skating, to the movies and I love reading books.

I was born and grew up in the Bronx, New York. My Mother loved to read so it was only natural that my brothers and I got our own library cards as soon as we were able to print our names. My favorite books were fairy tales. When the pictures didn't match t
More about Phoebe Gilman...
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