It's Too Crowded in Here! and Other Jewish Folk Tales
2011 Sugarman Family Children's Book Award
Evolving from the oral tradition that gave us Torah and Talmud, folktales illuminate and reinforce the lessons of our heritage. We tell them to entertain our children, and also to pass on our values.
It's Too Crowded in Here! is a collection of Jewish folktales and midrashic stories in this spirit, enlivened by colorful illustrations. While they are fun to simply read aloud with children, the stories also provide a rich yet light-hearted resource for exploring key values such as self respect, compassion, appreciation, tolerance, and thankfulness.
Resource pages after each story provide some brief background linking the story with its underlying message and connecting it to sources in Jewish tradition. Appropriate for any background or level of Jewish knowledge, these supplemental notes, together with a few open-ended questions and activity suggestions based on each story, can help those who would like to lead children through a deeper exploration of each story.
Stories and Values:
- It's Too Crowded in Here! - Contentment
- Hillel Takes a Bath - Self-Respect
- Why Trees Don't Talk - Action
- The Spider that Saved David - Appreciation
- The King of Songs - Tolerance
- The Carefree King - Cooperation
- The Goat that Made the Stars Sing - Responsibility
- The Fishing Lesson - Self-Reliance
- Eight folktales and midrashic stories retold to engage young children.
- Values message articulated for each story and expressed in language children can understand.
- Resource pages after each story provide references that place each value in its Jewish context, and tips for helping children understand them.
- Quizzical Questions provide lighthearted discussion starters.
- Try This! Suggests brief, age-appropriate activities for children.