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Can Hens Give Milk?
By author: Joan Betty Stuchner   Illustrated by: Joe Weissmann
Selling Points: humor, nonsense, Judaica, Chelm
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: Mar/01/2013
Pages: 32
Picture Book
Price:  $9.95
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Tova rushed into her parents' room. "What's wrong, Papa?"
"Let me ask you a question," said Shlomo. "Why does a cow give milk?"
"Everyone knows that, Papa. A cow gives milk because she eats grass."
Shlomo and Rivka beamed at their youngest daughter.
"What a wise child you are," said Shlomo. "So if we feed grass to our hens, they will still lay eggs, but they will also give us milk."
"Shlomo," said Rivka, "you are a genius."
"I am indeed," said Shlomo, and he blushed.


Tova lives with her family on a small farm in the famous town of Chelm, a mythical village populated, according to Jewish folklore, by fools. Tova's farm has hens and even a rooster, but no cow. Her mother, Rivka, wishes they could afford to buy a cow, so they could have fresh milk and butter every day. One night Tova's father has a dream about how to get milk without actually owning a cow. He asks Tova to help him find a way to get milk from their hens, and the results are hilarious. Finally, to the family's joy and the hens' relief, the problem is solved by none other than the wise Rabbi of Chelm himself, and a little extra help from Tova.
Tablet Magazine - November 4, 2013
"This addition to the canon has all the delicious deadpan of the old [Chelm] tales, as well as their familiar population of hilarious idiots. Literary idiots make powerless little readers feel powerful, and smart."

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