The Schmutzy Family (Paperback)

The Schmutzy Family Cover Image

The Schmutzy Family (Paperback)

By Madelyn Rosenberg, Paul Meisel (Illustrator)


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A lively and funny celebration of Sabbath traditions.

Sunday through Friday, the Schmutzy children are encouraged to explore, experiment, and create. It's messy work, involving mud pies, tomato sauce, worms, and frogs!

But on Friday morning, Mama exclaims, "Look at this dirt…. And it's nearly SHABBOS. We can't bring in the Sabbath smelling like COWS!"

So the Schmutzys clean up--and that's almost as much fun as the rest of the week.

"Schmutz" is a Yiddish word for dirt -- you can have schmutz on pretty much anything. The book begins with a four-word glossary - challah, farshtunken, schmutzy, and Shabbos.

This book captures the joy of cooperating as a family--no matter what your religion--and it makes a great read-aloud for home or classroom. Charming illustrations by two-time Geisel medalist, Paul Meisel, add to the fun.

A National Jewish Book Awards finalist
A PJ Library selection
Madelyn Rosenberg is a journalist and picture book author. Kirkus Reviews called THE SCHMUTZY FAMILY "delightful and unpretentious." This is her first novel for children. She lives in Virginia.

Paul Meisel is the author and illustrator of See Me Run, a Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Book, and See Me Dig, a Kirkus Reviews Best Book, and is the illustrator of many books for young people, including The Schmutzy Family by Madelyn Rosenberg, a Sydney Taylor Honor Book. He lives in Connecticut.
Product Details ISBN: 9780823442416
ISBN-10: 0823442411
Publisher: Holiday House
Publication Date: September 11th, 2018
Pages: 32
Language: English
"Delightful and unpretentious in its approach to welcoming the Sabbath."—Kirkus Reviews
"Stories filled with muck and mess are fun for young preschoolers, and in this title they will enjoy the smelly, yucky games celebrated on each wild double-page spread, especially since—surprise!—the grown-ups join in the fun. . . . With ink, watercolor, acrylic, and pencil, Meisel’s pictures extend the rumpus, and kids will have fun with the text’s occasional Yiddish words (explained in a glossary), especially farshtunken (stinky)."—Booklist
"Rosenberg's text is elegant, affectionate, and humorous. Meisel's cartoon-like watercolor-and-ink illustrations sprawl across the borderless pages, embodying the story's creative expansiveness. Children will enjoy picking out details not mentioned in the text . . . This book explores Jewish traditions in a unique and vibrant way, offering a loving portrait of a free-wheeling family many readers will wish they had."—School Library Journal
"Meisel's (The Leprechaun Under the Bed) ink-and-watercolor cartooning cheerfully chronicles the family's transformation from profane (which in this case involves a lot of mud, cow pies, and swamp critters) to sacred, and conveys so much joyousness and family happiness that most readers—even non-Jews—will agree that having to bathe, clean house, and dress up is well worth it."—Publishers Weekly
A Finalist for the National Jewish Book Award