G-d's messengers take mysterious forms. The story takes place in Russia during World War II when food was scarce. After standing on a long line following a hard day of work to obtain his ration of bread, Chaim is stopped by Bubbe Hinda who is collecting donations of bits of bread for poor people. Chaim breaks off a piece of bread as big as an egg and drops it into the sack. Unwilling to contribute again, he avoids Bubbe Hinda and keeps the whole loaf of bread, securing it after dinner and covering all the mouse holds to protect it from mice. But for three mornings he finds a piece missing as big as an egg and spies a mouse's tail disappearing. Finally, he understands and donates thereafter, as big as two eggs, after which the mouse runs out of the house and his bread is no longer robbed. This is an appealing well-told story that reads like a folk tale although it is based on a true story. It has two child-pleasing repetitive refrains: a Yiddish blessing and the as big as an egg, and well composed, drawn and painted evocative illustrations.
Rochel Sandman majored in English at a Connecticut university, and has written articles and newsletters for various non-profit organizations. She continues to be an active member of Jewish charity groups in her area.
The author is presently collecting and recording family stories as a legacy for her children and grandchildren. Many of these tales were originally told to her by her grandmother, Bubbe Hinda Deitsch ob"m, the heroine of As Big as an Egg.
About the illustrator:
Chana Zakashanskaya, a young award-winning illustrator, was born in Kiev, Ukraine. She graduated from the University of Fine Arts in Kiev with a Master's Degree in graphics and illustration. Among her recent projects are the animation for the popular children's video "613 Torah Avenue" and the illustration and design for As Big as an Egg. Since 1992, she has lived in Brooklyn, NY with her family.
Every day, Bubbe Hinda collects bread for the sick in her special sack. Chaim is a young Russian boy who knows that he should share some of his bread with those who have none…but he is so very hungry! When Chaim stops putting his little chunk of bread (as big as an egg) in Bubbe Hinda’s Mitzvah sack, strange things begin to happen. An unusual story based on true events, with illustrations by an award-winning artist.
As Big As An Egg – A story about Giving
by Rochel Sandman illustrated by Chana Zakashansky-Zverev.
ISBN: 978-0-922613-77-9 / LCCN: 95-75434
Hardcover / 32 pages / Ages 4-8 / List Price $11.95
Publication Date; September 1995