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It’s Friday morning and, as usual, Bubbe Judy has brought home a giant jar of gefilte fish—her grandson Jack’s favorite dish—for the family’s Shabbos meal. But something is wrong: the lid is stuck. Oy! That’s when the excitement begins!

Bubbe, Zayde, and Jack—along with their dog, Butterscotch—schlep the jar all over town, seeking assistance from a dentist, a bodybuilder, an inventor, and other friends. But no one can unscrew that lid. Such tsuris!

When aunts, uncles, and cousins arrive for dinner, they try to help, too. Giggles and groans fill the air as everyone takes a turn. Will that lid ever pop off?

Find out in this humorous gefilte fishy tale, lightly sprinkled with Yiddish.

NOTE: Gefilte fish is a no-no for dogs and certain other pets, as it usually contains ingredients that are harmful to them, such as onions. Learn about the foods that dogs can and cannot eat here: https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/nutrition/human-foods-dogs-can-and-cant-eat/.

Meet the Authors and the Illustrator


Allison and Wayne Marks

More about the author

Renée Andriani

More about the illustrator


“Never before have the trials and tribulations of opening a jar of gefilte fish in time for Shabbat been so much fun!”
—RENA CITRIN, ASSOCIATION OF JEWISH LIBRARIES (https://jewishlibraries.org/images/downloads/News_and_Reviews/reviews2016_09_10.pdf)

“[A] heartwarming tale that’s sure to become a family favorite.”
—CLEVELAND JEWISH NEWS (https://www.clevelandjewishnews.com/news/culture/off-the-bookshelf/article_5f0c1a2a-8fbf-11e6-8894-d7c2ace8e518.html)

“The pictures have energy and a wealth of witty details. . . . Silly predicaments, strong rhyming verse, amusing illustrations, and a kid’s victory—a pleasing Shabbos tale.”
—KIRKUS REVIEWS (https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/allison-marks/a-gefilte-fishy-tale/)

“The lyrical text is matched by whimsical illustrations with entertaining facial expressions and discussion-worthy detail throughout.”
—THE CHILDREN’S BOOK REVIEW (https://www.thechildrensbookreview.com/2016/05/a-gefilte-fishy-tale-by-allison-and-wayne-marks-dedicated-review)

“[A] delightful rhyming tale filled with Yiddish expressions. . . . The cartoon-like illustrations by Renée Andriani add to the fun. A glossary of Yiddish words, a gefilte fish mini-muffin recipe, and an original Shabbat song included in the text enhance the book’s appeal.”

“As readers open ‘A Gefilte Fishy Tale,’ they’ll find a beautiful glossary of Yiddish terms. . . [E]veryone seems to have difficulty turning that stubborn lid. Readers will most likely find themselves saying, “Oy! How hard could it be to twist open a jar?” Well, Bubbe Judy (grandmother), Zayde (grandfather), a bodybuilder, an inventor, a mechanic, a doctor, a dentist, a fisherman, a plumber, and numerous family members try their hand at the lid, but no one succeeds, and this makes everyone feel farklempt! As readers follow along in the story and witness each character try out their own hypothesis on this problem, they may find themselves giggling out loud. What was the solution? Well, you’ll have to read this fishy tale to find out!”

“One giant jar of gefilte fish, one grandson and one set of grandparents—a surprising formula for a fun and lively delight of a picture book. A Gefilte Fishy Tale quickly draws in young and old with its bouncy rhymes by Allison and Wayne Marks, all spritzed with Yiddish. This gentle and humorous adventure roams through their town as they prepare for Shabbos, their Friday evening Sabbath meal.”

Book Details

Pages : 44 pages
Age Range : 4 - 8 years
Publication Date : August 28, 2016
Size : 8.5 x 8.5 inches
ISBNs : 978-0-9908430-0-9



Candles burning—
What a sight!
Lift the juice glass high.
Honey cake is sweet and light,
And stars are in the sky.
Challah, kugel, kreplach too,
Gefilte fish for all . . .
We sure love Shabbat a lot!
Chicken soup is piping hot.
Let’s sing out with all we’ve got
‘Cause this is Friday night—

© 2016 MB Publishing LLC. Words by Wayne Marks and Margie Blumberg. Music by Margie Blumberg and Gavin Whelehan. All rights reserved. ℗ 2016 MB Publishing, LLC. Vocals by Gwynne Phillips. Sheet music for this song is included in the book.

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