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Shlemiel Crooks

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4.38  ·  Rating Details  ·  13 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
"In the middle of the night on a Thursday, two crooks—onions should grow in their navels—drove their horse and wagon to the saloon of Reb Elias Olschwanger, at the corner of 14th and Carr streets in St. Louis. This didn't happen yesterday. It was 1919." So begins a modern folktale based on the Yiddish community of the author's great-grandparents in the early 20th century. ...more
Paperback, 36 pages
Published July 1st 2009 by NewSouth Books (first published May 1st 2005)
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(NS) Sue
This book is based on a true incident reported in the St. Louis Jewish Record in 1919 in which two bumbling thieves try to rob the author's great-grandfather, Reb Elias Olschwanger's liquor store of its Passover wine. They get scared off by some noisy neighbors and their talking(?) horse. The humorous telling of the tale rings true with the voice of a Yiddish storyteller who weaves in priceless curses, "His teeth should fall out, except one, then he could have a toothache." The bold, colorful wo ...more
Amalia
Feb 05, 2013 Amalia rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite Jewish books!

The storytelling is delightful and the language is so authentic, you really can hear the accent, see the characters and smell the liqueur in the store.The crooks outsmart themselves and that incident, based on a true story from the author's family's history makes the paper.

Olswanger tied up the story with the passover tale in a very clever way.

The illustrations done in woodcut are gorgeous.
This is a children's book but the humor and wit will be enjoyed jus
...more
Anna Mills
Jan 09, 2010 Anna Mills rated it it was amazing
What a beautiful book. I cannot wait to present this to my grandchildren for a reading fest; it will open up an unknown world to them. The most you can hope for from any good story. The color! The vocabulary! The questions it will raise! I hope we wear it out together.
Megan Hansen
Jan 04, 2010 Megan Hansen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
This was a very cute, adventure of a read. The illustrations were beautiful and captivating. The narrative was fun and sassy and I can't imagine anyone not enjoying this book, whatever their age!
Megan Hansen
Jan 25, 2010 Megan Hansen rated it really liked it
This was a very cute, adventure of a read. The illustrations were beautiful and captivating. The narrative was fun and sassy and I can't imagine anyone not enjoying this book, whatever their age!
Patricia Powell
Mar 19, 2013 Patricia Powell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
This folksy telling of a family story, flecked with Yiddish asides, in fact with the rhythm and sound of Yiddish, we discover the history of Passover. What a fun read-aloud.
BookOfLife
Hear an interview about Shlemiel Crooks with author Anna Olswanger on The Book of Life podcast's April 2006 episode at www.jewishbooks.blogspot.com.
Yael Levy
Mar 14, 2013 Yael Levy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A lot of fun!
Gina
Dec 27, 2009 Gina marked it as to-read
Shelves: first-reads
I just found out I won this book! It looks really interesting, and I can't wait to read it!!!!
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Apr 23, 2016
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Anna Olswanger based her first children's book on a Yiddish newspaper article she uncovered about the attempted robbery of her great-grandfather’s kosher liquor store in St. Louis in 1919. This is the English translation of the article:

Reb Eliyahu Olschwanger Almost Robbed

Shlimazel crooks, their work was unsuccessful. Last Thursday at 3:00 a.m. in the middle of the night, several men drove to the
...more
More about Anna Olswanger...

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