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The Carp In The Bathtub

On its 30th anniversary of publication, Kar-Ben brings back the classic story of Leah and her brother, who hatch a plan to save the Passover carp from the cooking pot.

Paperback: 48 pages

Publisher: Kar-Ben Publishing; 30th Anniversary ed. edition (August 1, 2016)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1512407534

ISBN-13: 978-1512407532

Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.2 x 9.5 inches

Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)

Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #523,262 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #85 in Books > Children's Books > Holidays & Celebrations > Jewish #346 in Books > Children's Books > Animals > Fish #11228 in Books > Children's Books > Humor

Age Range: 7 - 10 years

Grade Level: 2 - 5

This wonderful 1972 story recalls the days in Brooklyn when most families had to share their bathrooms with neighbors and everyone managed.The narrator recalls a particular year, perhaps during the 1930s or 1940s. Rosh Hashonah and Passover, aside from more important things, then also meant eating Mama's gefilte fish, which she made from fresh carp. By the day before the holiday, the market had no more big fish, so Mama always bought her carp a week in advance, and stored it, fresh, in the bathtub.This particular year, though, Harry and Leah fell in love with the carp. "Some carp are much more lovable than others, and that Passover, we had an unusually playful and intelligent carp in our bathtub," says Leah. To save the carp, they brought the fish downstairs to Mrs. Ginzburg, who agreed to put the carp in her bathtub instead.They hoped their father would save "Joe," but Papa would have none of it. He went straight to Mrs. Ginzburg's apartment, and retrieved their beloved fish before their mother even knew he was missing.The children in the story never ate gefilte fish again, but a few weeks after their favorite carp died, their father brought home a cat, which they also named Joe.Aside from teaching kids about bygone traditions, this story explains that they cannot always have what they want. No surprise, they love it as much as most kids love gefilte fish. Alyssa A. Lappen

My parents read this story to me and my brother and sister every Passover. It's a wonderful, funny story about two children who make a pet of the doomed carp bought to become part of the Seder meal each year. I would note that like all of the books I've read by this author, you don't have to be Jewish to enjoy it--I think it would appeal as much to gentile children as it did to me.

I loved this book growing up. I agree with the previous reviewer...I am not Jewish and this ranks up with one of my favorite children's books. (My favorite being Fourteen Bears in Summer and Winter). I always thought it was so neat that they had a carp swimming in their bathtub!

I think that Carp In The Bathtub is a great book for ages 4-13 the pictures were very funny ,and creative. It was interesting. It was entertaining also you can picture it in your head like you were in their shoes. The characters were pretty average people. I think the ending was a surprise. Like the rest of the normal books it starts off as a normal day some of it is boring. also some of it is exciting to. The basicage spain is about 4-13 on average ofmost of the readers would find it entereasting most of the book and so do I.

I remember my parents reading this to me as a child. I purchased it for a friend with a new nephew and it's timeless because he loves it too. A little secret is that carp isn't even used in Gefilte Fish butttttt I don't want to ruin that for anyone. It is a great tale.

The Carp in the Bathtub is a great tale by Barbara Cohen and wonderfully illustrated by Joan Halpern. It harkens back to the late 19th and early 20th century when Jews lived in tenements in New York. Leah, the little girl who tells the story, and her brother Harry decide one year that the carp who is living in their bathtub for the week before Passover is their pet. At the time, it was common practice to buy a live fish in advance of the holiday and keep it alive until cooked into gefilte fish.This story teaches about Jewish life at the time, but it also centers on a brother and sister who become aware of other animals and concerns for their welfare.

This carefully written book is a guaranteed success for children because it captures a child's perception of parental exhaustion and sacrifice. For example, the narrator and her brother regret being the fortunate family with a bathroom in their apartment, since it means they have to take more baths. When the children meet their father at the subway, as he is returning exhausted from a long day of work in a sweatshop, his fatigue vanishes at the sight of the children, they barely notice their own effect. The histrionics of the widow downstairs are slyly manipulated by the children in an ill-thought-out plot to save their beloved carp, and they treat her grief as alien. The voice of the narrator never breaks the childhood blitheness of which the reader is fully aware. The children really don't understand why the carp has to be sacrificed, and while they don't realize the sacrifice their parents make for them, they do understand the love they receive. Young readers and listeners get the same message.

I read this to my children when they were young and have now bought a copy for my granddaughter and niece and nephew. This is a sweet funny story. Everyone who celebrates Passover needs to read this.

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