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August 22, 2003 - Image 83

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-08-22

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

111

to the United States.
Its theme, she writes, "fits squarely
into the genre of Yiddish tales in which
a clever protagonist outsmarts evildoers."
Something for Nothing certainly is a
cute story, though don't look for any
characters you might have seen in a
Sholem Aleichem story. This book con-
cerns only animals, and there's no men-
tion of anything Jewish.
Something for Nothing is the story of a
dog who has had it with the noise and
confusion of daily life in the big city. For
crying out loud, a dog can't even get any
sleep in Bialystok!
All day it hears yelling in the market,
and all night it's "the clip-clop of horses
hauling the wagons to market" and the
"groans and shouts of workmen unload-
ing the potatoes and tomatoes, the
mackerel and herring, and the banging,
clanging pans and pots and colanders."
So Dog leaves for the quiet of the
countryside. But no sooner has he set up
his new home when he hears the bang-
ing and clanging of three rowdy cats. He
asks them nicely to be quiet, but they
refuse.
Just how Dog gets rid of these noisy
cats is the focus of Somethingfor
Nothing, and it's quite a clever tale. Dog
keeps paying the cats to make more and
more noise, assuring them that they
don't begin to compare to the loud cats
back home. He misses the city, Dog
says, and he wants as much ranting and
raving as possible.
He keeps telling the cats to do more,
more, more!
What does this have to do with being
quiet? For that, you'll have to read the
book.
The story is fun, but the best part of
Something for Nothing is the art. The
illustrations, by University of Michigan
graduate Jacqueline Cohen, are brilliant.
They're colorful, charming and absolute-
ly delightful.



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83

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