Cover image for Stone soup with matzoh balls : a Passover tale in Chelm
Stone soup with matzoh balls : a Passover tale in Chelm
Glaser, Linda.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Chicago, Illinois : Albert Whitman & Company, [2014]
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 27 cm
In this version of the familiar tale, an old man tricks the townspeople of Chelm into contributing the necessary ingredients for making a Seder feast for all to share.
Reading Level:
AD 470 Lexile.
Program Information:
Reading Counts RC K-2 1.5 1 Quiz: 62973.
Added Author:
Added Uniform Title:
Stone soup. English.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PZ8.1 .G4593 ST 2014 Juvenile Non-Fiction Holiday

On Order



An old man walks into the town of Chelm asking for food. The townspeople claim they have nothing to share, but the man explains that he can make enough food for everyone with just a stone. The townspeople are intrigued and watch the man as he creates a pot of delicious matzoh ball soup. As he begins to cook, he asks for one ingredient and then another, which the townspeople provide. In the end, they have unknowingly contributed to making a Seder feast for all to share!

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Glaser (Hannah's Way, 2012) gives this traditional folktale a Jewish setting: the legendary village of Chelm. When a hungry stranger arrives during Passover, everyone refuses him food despite the promise of the holiday: All who are hungry come and eat. The man claims he can make matzoh ball soup from a stone; thanks to the intrigued townspeople, he succeeds, one donated ingredient at a time, in producing a hearty repast featuring vegetables, chicken, seasonings, and matzoh balls. Tabatabaei's round-faced peasants dress in traditional Eastern European garb, and foregrounded characters appear in sharp focus, while backgrounds tend to blur, much like an animated film. Appended with notes about Passover, Chelm, and the origins of this story, this makes a welcome addition to other variants of this tale, including Aubrey Davis' Bone Button Borscht (1997) and Ingrid Schubert's Hammer Soup (2004).--Weisman, Kay Copyright 2014 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

"All who are hungry, come and eat!" declares one of the most famous passages of the Haggadah, the text for Passover. It's the lesson of the famous folk tale of the stranger who teaches generosity to a selfish village by making soup from a stone. Transporting the story to Chelm, Jewish folklore's mythical village of fools, is an inspired move on Glaser's (Hoppy Passover!) part, and she adds another delicious Jewish twist in the form the matzoh ball. When the stranger promises his magic stone will create kneidleich "so big and heavy they'll sit in your belly like rocks all eight days of Passover," the aghast women of Chelm run home and make "dozens-no hundreds" of matzoh balls "so light they can almost fly." Tabatabaei's (The Angel Who Fell From Heaven) gently funny drawings strike just the right tone of comeuppance, and have the look and feel of vintage Disney animation. Ages 4-7. Illustrator's agent: Lemonade Illustration Agency. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-The familiar story of stone soup gets a Passover twist (and a little Chelm magic) in this charming retelling. A stranger appears in Chelm just before sundown on the first night of Passover. The villagers are unwilling to invite him to the seder because they have barely enough for themselves. From here, the traditional folktale unfolds, with the stranger producing a stone in a pot of water and the townspeople supplying the ingredients that transform it into a hearty soup. This soup, in fact, features the lightest, fluffiest matzoh balls in the world. When the time comes to begin the seder, the stranger is welcomed into the synagogue, and all of the inhabitants of the village fill their bellies with his "magical" soup. The Passover message of "let all who are hungry come and eat" is well illustrated in this tale. The text lends itself to reading aloud, and the muted palette of the illustrations extend the story well. A good selection for folktale and holiday collections.-Martha Link Yesowitch, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, NC (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.