The Porridge-Pot Goblin

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Product Details
$17.95  $16.69
Apples & Honey Press
Publish Date
8.5 X 11.0 X 0.5 inches | 0.95 pounds

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About the Author
Jacqueline Jules is the award-winning author of 25 children's books, including No English (2012 Forward National Literature Award), Zapato Power: Freddie Ramos Takes Off (2010 CYBILS Literary Award, Maryland Blue Crab Young Reader Honor Award, ALSC Great Early Elementary Reads), and Freddie Ramos Makes a Splash (named on 2013 List of Best Children's Books of the Year by Bank Street College Committee). Jules and her family live in Northern Virginia.
Hector Borlasca studied law before finding his true passion in the arts. He began his career as a graphic designer but eventually developed a unique illustration style. His work has appeared in advertising campaigns, magazines, newspapers, picture books, and textbooks in Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, and Mexico. Until now he has been less well-known in the US, where his books include Yiddish Saves the Day (Behrman House, 2019), Big Kid Shoes (Scholastic, 2011), The Magic Words (Red Chair Press, 2012), and Trick or Treat (Golden Books, 2006).
A mischievous goblin plays havoc with preparations for
Shabbat in this playful take on Jewish folklore.

Rose and Benny, Jewish siblings who are light-skinned with
dark hair, are braiding challah for Shabbat dinner, trying to be quiet so Mama
can rest after a hard day at work in the village. They are interrupted by loud
rumbling noises. They check outside to see their yard a mess and strange tracks
all around. Both children attribute the damage to a goblin, for everyone in the
village knows of these invisible creatures with rooster-like tracks. They
nervously continue working on the challah. Suddenly Rose's kerchief is yanked
off her head and flies across the room and up the chimney. Then their Shabbat
candlesticks and kiddush cup go flying and crashing to the floor. Rose comes up
with an ingenious plan, and the siblings work together to capture the goblin.
Focusing on Jewish folklore--something not seen as commonly in kid lit--this tale
centers on a loving, kind, and resourceful sibling pair. They are never in any
real danger, as Jules keeps the tale light and lively, providing sound effects
in uppercase letters to enliven the action. Borlasca's bright cartoons set the
scenes in an old-style kitchen with no modern appliances in sight and with the
Shabbat accouterments prominently displayed. The children are expressive, and
the action is depicted with humor and charm
. (This book was reviewed
digitally.) Joyful and entertaining, with a glimpse into a different
aspect of Judaism.
(author's note) (Picture book. 4-8) --Kirkus Reviews
The Porridge-Pot Goblin is a charming picture book in which
an invisible goblin disrupts the Shabbat preparations of two village children.
After several mishaps and some chaos, the children outsmart the goblin and save
the Shabbat meal (and their mother's nap).The story focuses on Shabbat preparations, and the chaos of
the goblin's mischief is contrasted to the peace and happiness of the Friday
night meal, in a way that makes the atmosphere of Shabbat feel almost tangible.

The well-written text and delightful illustrations work together to bring this
fun, humorous story to life. It should be a strong contender for the Sydney
Taylor Book Award. --Leah Cypess for The Sydney Taylor Shmooze

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
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
. 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
. --Katie Fischer, For the Love of Books, Old and New
In The Porridge-Pot Goblin, siblings Benny and Rose are frightened by an
invisible goblin, only known by his pranks and his tracks.
They fear the goblin
is too big for them to stop. But working together, Benny and Rose learn they
are much braver than they think. This tale, drawn from Eastern European
folklore, includes a working single mom and two siblings who want to let her
rest while they get ready for Shabbat. An end note explains the Jewish origin
of goblins. Why I Love This Book: 1. I always loved folktales and, like most folktales, this one is entertaining,
engaging, and has a message we all can embrace. 2. I love the ingenuity and bravery of the two children. 3. The illustrations are perfect and help bring the characters to life. --Vivian Kirkfield. Picture Books Help Kids Soar

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