A Selection of International Children's and Youth Literature

Hebrew / Israel

Mashal (ḥaza''l) ʻal shuʻal (she-zalal) (Mashal al shual)
(Fable about a fox)

Smiṭ, Shoham (adapt.)
Hofman, ʻOmer (Hoffmann, Omer) (illus.)
Or Yehuda: Kinneret, 2014. – [24] p.
ISBN 978-965-552-800-8

Property – Meaning of life – Wisdom – Fable – Picture book

Shoham Smiṭ here retells the old fable “The fox and the grapes” in verse-form, bringing the Aesopian version into dialogue with the Rabbinic “Midrash Rabbot”. A hungry fox sees a hole in the fence of a vineyard. Because he can’t fit through, he fasts for three days, slips through and then gorges himself. After that, he no longer fits through the hole and must fast… When he is back outside again, he reflects: What use is it to eat these good grapes if I enter hungry and leave hungry? This picture book reflects on life’s pursuits in a simple, intelligent, and witty way: We all arrive on this earth empty-handed and proceed to pile on material goods, despite the fact that in the end we must leave life empty-handed once more. “Mashal al shual” is the second collaborative book project between its author and illustrator. Omer Hoffmann’s humorous, spirited illustrations bring the text to life, lending it extra pep and a contemporary feel. (Age: 5+)