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Five Little Gefiltes
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Five Little Gefiltes

4.33  ·  Rating Details ·  117 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
When five curious young gefilte fish have the chutzpah to sneak out of their jar and set off to explore the world, they are followed by a loud OY VEY!—Mama Gefilte isn’t too happy to see her little ones leaving the nest. But she’s taught them well, and at the end of their adventures, each one proves himself a mensch—making Mama one proud gefilte indeed. Dave Horowitz’s pla ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published February 1st 2007 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
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Mar 06, 2017 Journeywoman rated it it was amazing
This is adorable and my daughter loves it.
Jun 07, 2015 LauraR rated it it was amazing
This book was selected as a 2008 notable social studies books for young children. This book tells the story of five gefilte fish and their mother through a tale of Yiddish Culture. This creatively designed story is a tale of how five gefilte fish went out each day and day after day, one less came back home. Yiddish culture shines through in this story as words such as "oy vey", "mensch", and "kvelling" are used. This is a fantastic story to teach young children about this culture through humor. ...more
Jean Ann
Nov 20, 2011 Jean Ann rated it it was amazing
I read Five Little Gefiltes by Dave Horowitz from the Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People (2008). A parody of Five Little Ducklings, Five Little Gefiltes is the silly story of 5 gefilte fish balls that leave their jar to visit various fun places in New York City (the theater, for example). After each trip, one gefilte decides not to return home, to which the mother exclaims “oy vey!”. Horowitz’s website claims “you don’t have to be Jewish to love this book—but it couldn’t hoyt!” ...more
The Bookloft
Bookseller: Karen

To all young "mensches"-ages 4 to 8-who want to learn about traditional Jewish food-in Yiddish terms-this book is for you! This story of five little gefiltes introduces you to great and yummy noshes including: Kreplach, knish, matzo balls, lox, a "shmear" of cream cheese, and shmaltz (chicken fat!). Learn the ingredients that will make you shlep to the store-or kvetch to our folks-about how much you want to eat gefilte fish now! (Includes super glossary of Yiddish terms in back
Lauren Barone
I can honestly say I have never heard of a gefilte before I read this story. I had no idea it was a type of fish. This was an interesting book to read and I liked the way some of the versus rhymed. It conveyed the message of curiosity and what can happen when curiosity takes control. The illustrations were exciting to look at and it was interesting to see where each little gefilte ended up the next day. It was like a guessing game.
Jennifer Heise
Oct 20, 2013 Jennifer Heise rated it it was ok
Shelves: beekman, jewish
Oy, such a cultural reference sillyness-- we got this through PJ Library and are passing it on to another child. Based on Five Little Ducklings, which we don't like all that much, the gefiltes wander off and have Yiddish-filled adventures. (Our version had an explanation of what gefilte was in the front, and a glossary of the Yiddish terms in the back.) Probably a good replacement for The Carp in the Bathtub, though.
Aug 23, 2007 Katie rated it it was amazing
This was a gift to me from a dear friend who works in Penguin's art department and wanted to brighten my day. It was a complete success! It's cleverly written, brilliantly illustrated, and even includes a Yiddish glossary in the back for Gentiles like myself. Recommended to anyone who needs a reason to smile.
Apr 02, 2016 Sonia rated it it was amazing
I picked up this book at a used book store for $1. my daughter and I LOVE reading it and have easily read it together 25x.

the story is sweet, and funny, all while teaching a bit of Yiddish. try to read it aloud WITHOUT a classic New York accent.

In addition to the sweet story, the illustrations are wonderful.

what a treasure!
Oct 20, 2010 Melissa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
My 3-year-old got this book from the PJ Library. Hilarious! Filled w/Yiddishisms. My son is now walking around the house pretending we're all gefiltes and saying "what are you talking about?". I can't get him to mimic the Yiddish accent though. He especially likes the "play" in the book, "Little Miss Matzoh."
Amy Rae
Sep 16, 2014 Amy Rae rated it really liked it
An appealing paean to New York Jewish culture that, like I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Dreidel, is more than just a parody of a well-known rhyme. This book is as much for the adults reading aloud as the children listening, and it's a lot of fun.
Beth Wood
Aug 26, 2012 Beth Wood rated it really liked it
This book is clever and entertaining. There are small touches in the illustrations that will delight adults, and a lovely smattering of Yiddish words, along with a glossary at the end of the book. The mama crying "oy vey!" filled me with delight. A fun book for a grownup or a child.
Erica Leach
Sep 15, 2013 Erica Leach rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ch-02-ncss
This book was very cute and the pictures went wonderful with the story. I also liked how they have the good faces and that they talked. Also this book teaches you about a Jewish food. And also has some Jewish words which is a wonderful way to learn about someone else's culture
Oct 20, 2014 Russell rated it really liked it
Excellent introduction to conversational Yiddish, and the incredible amount of guilt a Jewish mother is able to lay upon her children. Fantastic details really evoke a memorable and believable pre-Giuliani New York City.
Oct 30, 2012 Yapha rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
What an absolutely hilarious book! It is perfect for Passover and all year round. It is a super cute counting book for young children, plus all of the side notes will keep the adult readers amused. Just perfect for your favorite Jewish preschooler.
Mar 18, 2012 jodi rated it it was amazing
Shelves: with-cora-lena
You'd probably have to be Jewish and grown up in NY to get this one, but it's great. Fun to find the little gefiltes hiding... Also, makes me want to do a study of Jewish picture books to see how New York appears as a "character" across stories.
Vivienne Gucwa
Nov 14, 2014 Vivienne Gucwa rated it it was amazing
"Such a nice book." I was drawn in by the cover art and perfect quote. It's a smile-inducing read with wonderful illustrations. I loved the usage of extremely New York City phrases. I live on the Lower East Side and this feels like it's an homage to everything old-school New York City.
Cute take on Five Little Ducks. It is just before a holiday and Mama loses track of her gefilties, one by one. Filled with Yiddish phrases and Jewish tradition it introduces a minority culture with humor.
Apr 08, 2011 Davida rated it it was amazing
This was a book for William from the PJ Library. Great way to introduce him to Yiddish, very sweet story and pictures.
Feb 19, 2014 Rainey rated it it was amazing
This was just stinkin adorable. Also, it's a GREAT way to teach someone some conversational Yiddish :)
Aug 02, 2007 BookOfLife added it
Shelves: podcasted
Hear an interview about Five Little Gefiltes with author dave horowitz (yes, he prefers lower case) on The Book of Life podcast's March 2007 episode at
Feb 28, 2014 Summitlibrary rated it really liked it
Feb 11, 2010 Sarah rated it really liked it
Aug 25, 2007 Molly rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
I guess this book is kind of pointless, but come on. It's about gefilte, and it uses lots of Yiddish, like shvitz-ing. That's awesome.
Dec 29, 2014 Heather rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, hanukkah
A fun addition to our collection of Hanukkah reading, although certainly it will be read other times of the year as well. Cute, humorous and lots of great Yiddish for the kids to learn.
Jan 24, 2012 Lynn rated it it was amazing
My son loves this book! He asks to read it over & over.
Kelley Beatty
This book discusses the Jewish traditional food called gefilte's and how they are made. It counts down from 5 to 0 and back up to five once the mom finds her babies.
Jan 15, 2016 Corinne rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book, kids
Very cute. Fun to do with an accent. A great way to learn some Jewish words. I like to sing it to five little ducks (although it doesn't quite fit).
The Styling Librarian
Story made me laugh all the way through. Love the inclusion of yiddish throughout, very cute rhythm and storyline.
Sep 23, 2012 Jerry rated it it was amazing
Such a nice book!!!
Lisa C
Feb 28, 2009 Lisa C rated it it was amazing
This book was hysterical, and a great introduction to one of the many cultures in America to be explored. It's a great adaptation on "five little ducks."
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My name is dave horowitz. I grew up in Smithtown, New York in the 1970s. Instead of paying attention in school I drew pictures of my teachers. Then I went to a famous art college in Rhode Island and studied coloring.

In 1992 I graduated and went to Oregon to play drums and drink coffee. Then I moved to New York City and worked next door to the Twin Towers. Then I learned how to climb rocks and got
More about Dave Horowitz...

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