The Wooden Sword: A Jewish Folktale from Afghanistan

by Ann Redisch Stampler (Adapter)

Other authorsCarol Liddiment (Illustrator)
Book, 2012



Call number

E 500 STA



Albert Whitman & Company (2012), Edition: Illustrated, 32 pages


Impressed by a poor Jewish shoemaker's belief that God will ensure everything turns out as it should, a shah in Kabul, Afghanistan, devises a series of hardships to test the man's faith.

User reviews

LibraryThing member jh33
This apparently classic tale of a powerful man testing the faith of the poor is well done with rich illustrations and simple dialogue for children to follow. With the shoemaker facing each obstacle with a positive approach their are lessons to be taught to young children.
LibraryThing member JessicaLeupold
I found this story very interesting. I had never heard a folktale from Afghanistan before. The message was a good one about optimism and being content and generous. The author herself is not from Afghanistan, however she includes as afterward about her research into making sure the story and
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artwork were as authentic to the culture as possible.
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LibraryThing member STBA
A shoemaker’s faith that everything will turn out as it should is tested by the Afghan shah, who forces him to work as a water carrier, woodcutter and soldier. But when the shoemaker is asked to do a beheading, his own cleverness saves the day. Colorful, detailed illustrations lend a strong sense
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of place.
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LibraryThing member ana.j.diaz.1
Wonderful story of Folktale Afghanistan culture. It is full of great teaching of faith and wisdom. Beautiful story for all ages
LibraryThing member harrisrm
This wonderful book presents children with a new interpretation of a classic Jewish folktale. A shoemaker and his wife are quite happy with their lives. They share their food with the Shah. The shah puts the shoemaker to a test his faith. A wonderful book to talk about different cultures.
LibraryThing member lg503
This story talks about a good man that no matter what he was always happy. The Sha of the town noticed it and wanted to test his faith, and believes. The Sha gave him several obstacles that the good man without knowing passed them all. The Sha really liked his attitude so he brought him to the
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castle so he could serve him as his main adviser.
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LibraryThing member MaowangVater
One night, the Shah decides to go out disguised as a servant to check on the state of his subjects. Wandering around Kabul he come upon the household of a poor cobbler and his wife celebrating Shabbat with a modest meal. When the Shah asks the poor tradesman why he and his wife are so content, the
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response he discovers is that it’s the man’s faith that God will always provide. “If one path is blocked, God leads me to another, and everything turns out just as it should,” replies the Jew. Impressed by his faith, but curious about its strength, the Shah decides to test the shoemaker.

In the author’s note Stampler says that she chose this Jewish Afghani version of the folktale to adapt because of the respect that the two central character have for each other despite their different religions and stations in life. The benevolent smiles that Liddiment expresses in her cheerful illustrations harmonize beautifully with the author’s sentiment.
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LibraryThing member burtmiller
B This was a cute book and most children would love it. It referenced God, belief, and faith so it probably shouldn't be a book in a public classroom.


Original language


Physical description

32 p.; 10.75 inches


0807592013 / 9780807592014



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