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Oy Vey Life in a Shoe

Dave Mottram

Follow Lou as he appeals to his rabbi to help solve his family's overcrowding problem. A new take on a beloved Jewish folktale.

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Printed Material
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A fun read-aloud based on a classic Jewish folktale.

Lou lives in a shoe and doesn't know what to do. A contemporary mash-up of the Mother Goose tale with the traditional Jewish folktale about a family with an overcrowding problem, this high-energy adventure is chock-full of animals, kids, humor, whimsy, and silliness.

Hardcover edition

Reviews for Oy Vey! Life in a Shoe

"Oy Vey! Life in a Shoe is a poetic narrative adaptation of a classic Jewish folk tale about enlightenment through overcrowding. Hilarious with sly, tongue in cheek humor, the story is told through lilting, relentless rhyme. Lou is a good Jewish husband with a wife and 12 children who all live together in a shoe. Lou's is grumpy because of the noise of 12 sons and one daughter, and the crowded living quarters. One day, Lou's wife urged him to go to the rabbi to ask him to help him find some peace in his life. Lou does this quite respectfully, according to tradition. The rabbi, who is a very learned and well read man, gives Lou some strange advice, telling him to add chickens, goats, and geese to stay in his shoe house. Finally Lou can bear no more crowding and noise. In tears, he begs the rabbi to help him once again. "We've been chasing goats the whole night through. My nerves are shot and the shoe is stinking. Rabbi or not, what were you thinking?" This time the rabbi smiles and says: "Ask me no questions and do as I say. Your troubles will change for the better today. Take all the animals out of the shoe. They don't belong inside there with you." The result, while comical, is also profound: The father becomes content and happy with his many offspring and busy life: "Singing and laughing, kvelling too, and a baby playing peek-a-boo. Yelling, jumping, a snoring wife; with love in the shoe it's a bustling life!"
Midwest Book Review