Gershon's Monster: A Story for the Jewish New Year

Gershon's Monster: A Story for the Jewish New Year

Hardcover(1 ED)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780439108393
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date: 09/28/2000
Series: Gershon's Monster
Edition description: 1 ED
Pages: 32
Sales rank: 772,773
Product dimensions: 9.00(w) x 11.25(h) x 0.35(d)
Lexile: AD620L (what's this?)
Age Range: 4 - 8 Years

About the Author


Jon J Muth has written and illustrated many enchanting picture books, including his Caldecott Honor Book ZEN SHORTS and its sequel, the NEW YORK TIMES bestselling picture book ZEN TIES. Other beloved titles from Jon include THE THREE QUESTIONS, GERSHON'S MONSTER by Eric Kimmel, and THE CHRISTMAS MAGIC by Lauren Thompson. Muth lives in upstate New York with his wife and five children.

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Gershon's Monster: A Story for the Jewish New Year 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
fonsecaelib530A on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Kimmel, E. A., & Muth, J. J. (2000). Gershon's monster: a story for the Jewish New Year. New York: Scholastic Press.Grade 2 and upGershon has never repented for anything he has even done. Careless and inconsiderate, he sweeps his mistakes and tosses them down the cellar. Once a year, he drags them to ocean, where he tosses them. He and is wife long for a baby, so when Gershon hears that a tzaddik,a wonder rabbi who lives in a nearby town, he travels to meet him and ask for a child. When he arrives at the rabbi¿s home, he enters without knocking and demands a child. For the sake of Gershon¿s wife, a good woman, the rabbi offers his help. The rabbi urges Gershon to be thankful for what he has, but the man will not hear him. So the rabbi blesses the family with twins but warns him that his wayward ways will cost him the lives of his children. The rabbi shares with Gershon a prophecy and sends him on his way. The couple has twins, and Gershon continues with his careless behavior until on the morning on the children¿s fifth birthday, the prophecy comes true. The ocean rises as a monster covered in scales, each scale one of Gershon¿s misdeeds. He throws himself in front of his children and offers how own in exchange of his children¿s. The monster melts into raindrops. Gershon has finally repented, and from then on, he learns to live a righteous life.Gershon's monster: a story for the Jewish New Year is a cautionary tale to warn those who go through life without repenting that sooner or later, their misdeeds will catch up with them. It represents well the motif of the supernatural being in the monster born of Gershon¿s misdeeds. This traditional Hasidic legend for the Jewish New Year reminds readers of the importance of taking responsibility for one¿s actions and asking for forgiveness. The illustrations are essential in telling the sorry. Muth is s renowned graphic novel artist, and the pictures he creates are highly influence by this genre, with special attention to the varying perspective that gives the action a dynamic quality. Gershon¿s careless ways are represented by the image of the baker sweeping little monsters into the cellar, and the more he sins, the more daring the creatures become. In one illustration, they pull the baker¿s hair and beard, big grins on their black faces. The use of different points of view give the story a dynamic character, and the climax of the story is depicted in a two-page spread, the huge black monster of Gershon¿s sins looming over his children. The book is a tool to teach readers about the repenting; the last page defines the six steps to be followed for a righteous life. A wonderful book that openly targets the Jewish community but can be enjoyed by all religions.
nzfj on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Library Thing Part C # 8 Traditional LiteraturesKimmel, Eric A., Jon J, Muth, and Shem T¿ov Ba¿al. Gershon's Monster: a Story for the Jewish New Year. New York: Scholastic, 2000. Print. Eric Kimmel retells a Hasidic legend that was told to him by his grandmother. The story is about a prosperous baker, Gershon, and his wife, Fayga, who live in a city on the Black Sea. Gershon never apologized for his mistakes and never had any regrets for ¿thoughtless acts¿ or the way he treated others. Every Friday he swept his indiscretions into the cellar and on Rosh Hashanah he put them in a sack and threw them away into the sea. The couple wanted children and were unable to conceive. Fayga asked Gershon to search for a tzaddik (wonder rabbi) and perhaps he could help them. The tzaddik does help Gershon and Fayga and also confronts Gershon with his guiltless and reckless past behaviors that have been thrown into the sea. A prophecy is given to Gershon concerning his two children to be and five years later the prophecy comes to pass. It is at this moment Gershon asks forgiveness and is willing to sacrifice himself for his childrens safety and lives. He is forgiven and returns home with his children a renewed man. Jon J. Muth¿s watercolor illustrations are most definitely an integral part to the text. There are the folktale elements of simplistic plot and industrious characters with a hint of the trickster element. Gershon¿s character at the beginning of the story changes and is a strong contrast to the Gershon at the end of the story. A monster presents itself, a conflict, and finally a sacrifice is offered and accepted. Each of these folktale elements are rendered clearly on each page by each of the illustrations that depict the rise and fall of suspense from watching Gershon move through the story. Most enriching are the panels that show Gershon¿s visit with the tzaddik. The characters expressions, the swinging door hitting the table and knocking over candle sticks and a picture hung on the wall. The clock at midnight and the tzaddik chanting prayers over a lit candle, Gershon¿s gesture at receiving the written parchment from tzaddik and the panel with tzaddik in the forefront looking pensive, head looking down, and Gershon in a wagon driving away in the background. Powerful illustration with the contrasting light foreground around the tzaddic and the tzaddic¿s black clothes, the above distant background of green hills and Gershon¿s figure moving away. A powerfully illustrated Jewish folktale for the Jewish New Year and it speaks to all people as well. The message of pride and misdeeds v.s. an honorable and conscientious life. A definite must buy for any library folktale collection. Curriculum connection and audience age would be kindergarten to high school; language arts, read a loud, readers theatre, art appreciation.
allie_mansfield on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I like how there was a great depiction of jewish tales, Rosh Hashanah. The illustrations were just beautiful. After many thanks to god, there was a good moral to the story of forgiveness.
sunnyburke on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful and haunting story of how important it is to understand the mistakes you may have made in a year and how to ask to forgiveness. The lesson is a classic one that follows the theme of beginning anew each year. The illustrator does a great job of portraying all of the main character's sins or mistakes as little black monsters that he can't seem to escape from. It also tells how even the smallest, selfish mistakes or sins can deeply effect oneself and the people around you.
Guest More than 1 year ago
We have had this book for several years and every year I read it to my children. The discussions that follow are always insightful. This book helps the children understand why simply throwing bread into the water is not enough and why asking for forgiveness, which is not always easy for a child or an adult, is even more important. This book can be slightly scary for a child under the age of 6.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this to my 7-year-old daughter and she loves it. This is a fine book that will be read in our family for years to come.