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Book Report: Ten and a Kid

Your Humble Blogger was enjoying re-reading the K’ton’ton stories, so it was an obvious next step to check the library catalogue for other books by Sadie Rose Weilerstein. I’m glad I did, as I found Ten and a Kid (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society 1961).

It’s a very sweet story of Reizel, her sisters Esther, Fayge, Goldie, Teppele and Tseppele, her brothers Kezele and Dovidel, and their parents (Avram Itsik and Gittel), and their kid. You see, one Passover, when Reizel opens the door for Elijah, who comes but one little goat, who they call Gadya, and who ... well, that would be telling.

The story goes through the year from Passover to Purim, and everyone in the family gets a story. Their Lithuanian village has more or less the usual characters: Frume Leah and her grandson Yossie, Marusha, Aunt Sophie, Todros the Giant, Reb Gershon. It’s like Sholem Aleichem stories without the dark edges; it’s like Little Women in a shtetl. It’s slight, and it’s sweet, and I hope we’ll have a copy on the Perfect Non-Reader’s Shelf by the time she’s six or so. And perhaps, when it's around time to start cleaning for Passover, she'll lend it to me.

Redintegro Iraq,


I'm curious: is it a novel, a collection of short stories, or some kind of a hybrid of those? Or something else entirely?

Er, a hybrid, I suppose. It's for children, if that wasn't clear. Various things happen to various family members throughout the year. There's a through-line, more or less, but mostly each chapter is a separate story. Is there a name for that?


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