Taking too long? Try again or cancel this request.

Book Reviews

The Wedding That Saved a Town

Reviewed by

Weddings are a facet of every culture, however their purposes and their customs vary greatly between cultures. Gaining an understanding of various customs often leads to cultural respect, and thus award-winning author Yale Strom’s book can serve as a way to expose children to a traditional European Jewish wedding custom. Strom is also a renowned klezmer musician, filmmaker, and scholar of the Jewish faith.

In this modern folk-tale, the main character, Yiske, is asked to perform at a wedding. Yiske gladly accepts the offer, but he soon learns of the grim reasoning for the wedding. The people of the town are sick, and only a traditional “shvartze chaseneh” can help lift the illness. Yiske then sets his mind to finding the perfect couple for the wedding in hopes of a cure. The last page of the book contains an author’s note and a glossary of Yiddish words that are seen throughout the book.

Jenya Prosmitksy’s illustrations are cartoon-like, bringing light to what may appear otherwise as a dismal tradition. Colorful and full of expression, they compliment Strom’s strong characters. Prosmit-sky grew up in the former USSR and has illustrated other children’s books, including, A Mink, A Fink, A Skating Rink: What is a Noun? and Hairy, Scary, Ordinary: What is an Adjective?

The book is valuable for children and educators alike. For children, it is a hopeful and animated tale. For educators, the book can be used to enhance multiculturalism in the classroom. In addition, Jewish students might feel more comfortable in the classroom if a traditional tale of theirs were integrated with dominate Christian traditions.

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author provided free copies of his/her book to have his/her book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the author for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love and make no guarantee that the author will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Comment on this book