Jewish Fairy Tales and Fables

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Landa, Gertrude
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This is a curious book. First of all, I spent way too much money for it. Secondly, it is the sixth printing of a book I already have, probably in a first printing. Thirdly, it is curious that its cover has changed slightly. Now there is a tan background, and the title is highlighted by being red. The only other change I can note in the book is the recognition of the printer on 169 has dropped Selwood Printing Works and added Robert Scott. I will add some of my comments from the earlier printing. The Library of Congress has a listing for this book that gives the name of Gertrude Landa for Aunt Naomi. It suggests the date of 1915; however, their copy was published in NY by Block Publishing Company. This book has been a pleasant surprise to me. The stories are good. There are fourteen stories of varying length and character. There is the story of the slave who became a king for a year but then would have to relinquish his throne. One of several stories close to fable has Fox luring Bruin into a well for the supposed cheese and Bruin drowning there (31). The cover illustration is for the story of the peddlar who barters people's miseries for happiness. In the closest to a traditional fable, the fox enters the vineyard through a gap between the railings. After eating, he must wait for days before getting back out (61). An old man plants a fig tree because he is one hundred years young. Solomon enlists the help of a small bee to answer the difficult question posed by the Queen of Sheba. In a great Jewish story, Honeim the Jewish cobbler outwits the rich Arab who wants to buy shoes from him (85). In another shoe story, a visitor from Athina maligns Jerusalem. Hafiz Ben lures him into making a fool of himself before the people of Jerusalem. Sly fox tries to convince the fish that they can live better out of water, but they are too smart for him. A hunchbacked old rabbi teaches a princess that great things can be inside very modest containers. The tongue convinces the other members that he best represents their interests.
R. Mazin & Co., Ltd.
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