Book Chat

From Grandma’s Trunk: It Could Always Be Worse

This is a series on some of my favorite books from childhood—right out of my former librarian Grandma’s home.  They now hold places of honor on my one tiny bookcase in my tiny townhouse, and I fully intend to bring each one on the cross-country journey to California!

It Could Always Be Worse, written and illustrated by Margot Zemach

I love this book!  I’ve been known to force Sam to sit down on the stairs while I read it aloud.  It’s a Yiddish folk tale about a man who had no peace with his wife and parents and ten children in his tiny house, so he goes to the Rabbi for advice.

The Rabbi advises him to bring a farm animal into his house, which brings about more noise and confusion; when the man complains again, he is told to add yet another animal to his household.

This continues until finally the Rabbi tells him to put all the farm animals back outside, and the man and his family revel in the peacefulness of their home.  I just love it!  The repetition, the illustrations, the final scene that illustrates just how imperfectly perfect life can be.

This book just has to make it into a box on the way to California!


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