Young Aaron wants to learn how to speak Yiddish like his Zayde (grandfather), but Zayde protests that the boy is too young to learn Yiddish, and that American Jews should speak English and play baseball. When Zayde becomes very old and can no longer see well enough to read his books, Aaron decides it is time for his grandfather to teach him the language before it's too late. Bound back-to-front like traditional Jewish books, this poignant intergenerational tale for readers up to 8 by the author of Happy Feet features Yiddish words sprinkled throughout, with a glossary included at the end. Rendered in watercolor and pen, Neil Waldman's realistic, sepia-toned illustrations have the flavor of old photographs.
"A wonderful story that deeply touched my own Yiddish heart. The pictures are extraordinary—heartbreaking and powerful—as powerful as the need to resurrect the Yiddish language and hold fast to the past."—Maurice Sendak