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The Big Barrel of Wine

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The Big Barrel of Wine
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Jewish Learning Group
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The Big Barrel of Wine
As told by Rabbi Yosef Goldstein
Adapted for Print by Rabbi Zalman Goldstein
Illustrations by Joseph Maya
The Jewish Learning Group (2009)
ISBN: 978-1-891293-33-7

Reviewed by Anna Dogole - April 27, 2011

Uncle Yossi (aka Rabbi Yosef Goldstein), the beloved storyteller is back, and this time in print! Uncle Yossi is an educator and storyteller extraordinaire who has entertained children for years with his stories that are drawn from Midrashic and Talmudic lore, and from Jewish history and culture. His stories are timeless and are infused with Yiddishkeit and the love of HaShem. His stories have been brought to print by his son, Rabbi Zalman Goldstein, who as adapted his stories into a series of must-have books.

This book, The Big Barrel of Wine, is the second book in the Uncle Yossi series and it is based upon a story in the Talmud. This story, drawn from Bava Basra, 24b, teaches a lesson about personal responsibility and the obligation that we each have to try to do our best at whatever tasks we set our hands to.

The story in The Big Barrel of Wine focuses on the residents of Grapetown, who are excited because the king is coming to visit. The residents of Grapetown were renowned for their wine making ability and they decided that to honor the king they would make the biggest barrel that they could, and fill it with their very best wine. But even with the best intentions something can go terribly wrong, and in this case, it did!

This delightful book is suitable for readers of all ages. The print is nice and large making it ideal for new readers as well as those who need or simply, like large print. The book is also ideal as a read out-loud book. The book is filled with lively illustrations by Joseph Maya that prereaders will enjoy looking at while they follow along with the story. As well, this book features non-tear, laminated pages that will withstand a wiping down with a damp cloth. Best of all (after the story itself) the pages in this book are sewn in, ensuring that this book will withstand many years of use as it is passed down from one child to the next. All in all, a wonderful book for every Jewish library, and it is ideal for gift giving.

This book, and others from the Story Time with Uncle Yossi series, and other fine books, are available directly from the The Jewish Learning Group website. You can also listen to samples of originial Uncle Yossi recordings online.

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