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Shlemiel Crooks

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4.31  ·  Rating details ·  16 ratings  ·  10 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
Hardcover
Published May 1st 2005 by NewSouth Books
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4.31  · 
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 ·  16 ratings  ·  10 reviews


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(NS) Sue
Nov 05, 2009 rated it liked it
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 Hoffman
Feb 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Patricia Powell
Mar 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 02, 2007 added it
Shelves: podcasted
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.
Megan Hansen
Jan 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Dec 27, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
Yael Levy
Mar 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A lot of fun!
Gina
Dec 27, 2009 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
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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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