- Joanne Oppenheim
"A Joyful Story...a fundamental truth: there's no such thing as too many knishes." —Ho
I'm happy to share this joyful review. Horn Book's reviewer came up with a rhyme that I missed...a perfect description of the story: "A knish competisch..."
"Benny’s family’s baked knishes sell like hotcakes on New York’s Lower East Side, but then the Tisches move in across the street with their fried knishes. A knish competisch ensues: prices drop, stores expand, Benny and his young counterpart Solly carry signs, and each proprietor hires musicians (“Such ritzy-pitzy music had never been heard before on Rivington Street”); the noise level becomes so bad that the mayor gets involved. Lively drawings show the early-twentieth-century street clogged with eager knish consumers. An author’s note (accompanied by recipes, of course!) explains that this story was inspired by a true one reported in a 1916 New York Times article, and the lengthy text does have undertones of immigrants’ economic concerns (“For four cents they could put us out of business!”) and hints of language difficulties (it’s Benny who letters the sign for Papa). Overall, though, this is a joyful story of people who take pride in their own work, but eventually realize a fundamental truth: there’s no such thing as too many knishes." —Horn Book (Sept-Oct 2017)