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The Porridge-Pot Goblin

Hector Borlasca
A pair of siblings must contend with a a pesky, invisible goblin as they prepare for Shabbat while letting their tired mother rest.
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Printed Material
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This modern update of a Jewish folktale includes a working single mom and two kids who want to let her rest while they get ready for Shabbat. But first they have to dispatch a pesky goblin on their own, which takes ingenuity, cooperation, and courage. End note explains Jewish origin of goblins.

Sometimes, a peaceful Shabbat means braiding challah and dinner with your family. Sometimes it means trying to catch a goblin before sundown. And sometimes, it means both!  --Madelyn, from Goodreads

Click here to read an interview with author, Jacqueline Jules.


While Rose and Benny help prepare for Shabbat, they have the misfortune to be visited by none other than a goblin. It’s invisible, but still leaves tracks and a mess in its wake. The siblings have to fix up a solution so that their Shabbat will be a peaceful one.

There are so many delightful parts to The Porridge-Pot Goblin.
Benny and Rose’s relationship is one of those highlights. They are kind to each other, helpful to their hardworking mom, and brainstorm together. And the fact that their mom works as a midwife/doula/OB is such a fantastic little element.
The art is so bright and sharp, it works well to accentuate the action and vibrance of the story. And they’re funny! The little foot sticking out from underneath something (from where might give the end away) was entirely giggle-worthy.
The invisibility is part of the authentic representation of goblins in Jewish folklore, and that fact also made the story feel more universal. Kids everywhere feel a connection to characters dealing with troubles that can’t be seen.
And the way the story weaves in showing and teaching about Shabbat traditions without slowing the pace of the action was well done. The backmatter is the right length to read all the way through with children, and it is a wonderful encouraging and educational addition.

With characters determined to work together to find a solution to their goblin-y problem (and good doses of humor and learning thrown in), this is a book that would be a great read aloud to share with kids 4 and up.  --Katie Fischer, For the Love of Books, Old and New


Read some 5-Star Reviews from Goodreads!

  • The Porridge-Pot Goblin by Jacqueline Jules is a suspenseful and engaging story that incorporates a charming folk tale to illustrate the significance of Shabbat. The children at the center of this story assume the responsibilities for preparing Shabbat for their family as their busy mother is engaged in helping others in their community. This elevates the role of the children as guardians of the weekly celebration of Shabbat. The illustrations are delightful and serve to further draw the reader into the story. Parents and children will enjoy this book and want to read it again and again. --Marcia Lawson, from Goodreads
  • Another lively story from author Jacqueline Jules!  --Liz, from Goodreads
  • It is a fun, sweet, gentle book about rising to the situation and saving the day. --Terry Jennings, from Goodreads
  • Folktales are often morality plays, and The Porridge-Pot Goblin gives the child protagonists a sense of pride and accomplishment when they use their ingenuity to stop the goblin as well as a streak of kindness in freeing him. At the end there is a brief but welcome explanation of Jewish Shabbat traditions. The story could inspire family conversations not only about Shabbat but resourcefulness, helpfulness and family. Hector Borlasca’s sprightly, colorful illustrations in a folk-art style are a perfect complement to the silly and the serious in the tale. The publisher’s Behrman House Blog noted that “story-telling goes beyond preserving the old, familiar folktales. It embraces the creation of new interpretations of our ancient traditions and texts.” Jacqueline Jules has indeed provided a fun and meaningful new interpretation of the goblin tradition. --Karen Leggett, from Goodreads
  • a fun book that will connect both with children who celebrate Shabbat and children who know nothing about Jewish traditions--Anna, from Goodreads


Jacqueline Jules is the author of 50 books for young readers including four Sydney Taylor Honor Award winners, Sarah Laughs, Benjamin and the Silver Godlet, Never Say a Mean Word Again, and Drop by Drop: A Story of Rabbi Akiva. Her books The Hardest Word  and Never Say a Mean Word Again were National Jewish Book Award Finalists. She is also the author of Picnic at Camp Shalom, What a Way to Start a New Year, Goodnight Sh'ma, and Once Upon a Shabbos. She lives in Long Island, New York.