CM . . . .
Volume I Number X . . . . August 18, 1995
Bone Button Borscht
Illustrated by Dusan Petricic.
Toronto: Kids Can Press, 1995. 32 pages, cloth, $14.95.
Preschool - grade 3 / Ages 3 - 8.
Review by Lorraine Douglas.
As he warmed himself by the stove he looked around the room.
Suddenly he spotted a man in the shadows. It was the synagogue caretaker,
"Shalom aleichem, peace be with you!" called the beggar.
The shamas did not answer.
"Strange," thought the beggar.
A glimmer crept into his eye, and the corner of his mouth turned up
ever so slightly. He had an idea.
He grabbed one of the bone buttons on his coat and tugged.
Tchk. Off came the button.
Tchk. Tchk. Off came two more.
Tchk. And another.
Tchk. And another.
Still the shamas did not speak. But now he was looking at the beggar.
Now he was curious.
This new version of the classic "Soup Stone" tale is filled with droll
humour and wonderful watercolour illustrations. Mr. Beggar comes to a
little town dreaming of a good meal, but its poor inhabitants turn him
away. He sees a long line of light in the snow and finds the open door of
the synagogue. The shamas doesn't even speak to him. In a sudden
inspiration he takes the bone buttons from his coat and asks the
shamas for one more button for bone-button borscht.
Soon the whole town is involved in creating the best borscht and the
greatest feast ever! The people believe it is a miracle and one family
after another takes in Mr. Beggar and his magic buttons. When he finally
moves on, he leaves the townspeople his buttons. Over the years the
buttons are lost, but they learn how to make good borscht even without
them . . . .
The illustrations in this tale of sharing celebrate the creation of
the borscht, and the homely but appealing townspeople. Dusan Petricic's
illustrations use overhead perspectives and changing colours to add to
the delight of this fresh version of an old story. A great book for
reading aloud, or for classes interested in comparing different versions
of classic tales.
Lorraine Douglas is Youth Services Coordinator for the Winnipeg Public
To comment on this title or this review, send mail to email@example.com.
Copyright © 1998 the Manitoba Library Association.
Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice
is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without
The Manitoba Library Association
TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR THIS ISSUE - August 18, 1995.
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