In a small Jewish town in Poland, at a time when giants still roam the earth, yet people are just the same as they are today, there lives a poor tailor. When robbers attack coachmen on the road to his town, he volunteers to drive a merchant's wagon and soon finds himself embarking upon a series of adventures that will take him far from home. With his keen wit, he solves mysteries, defeats all types of evildoers, and becomes known throughout the land as "The Clever Little Tailor."
Deeply rooted in Eastern European Jewish folkways and humor, Solomon Simon's charming novel for young readers, The Clever Little Tailor, is available for the first time in English. This sturdy full-color hardback edition presents the original Yiddish text alongside the English translation and stunning illustrations.
Solomon Simon (Author): Born in Belarus in 1895, Simon came to the US as a teenager. After serving in the US Army in World War I, he began a career as a dentist. Simon was a prolific writer, publishing 20 full-length Yiddish books and scores of articles and essays. His work ranged from biblical exegesis to folk stories, from autobiography to commentary on modern Jewish life and identity. A dedicated educator, Simon served as the director of a Sholem Aleichem Folkshul, taught Bible study groups, and was the president of the Sholem Aleichem Folk Institute. He was also an editor of the organization’s children’s magazine, the Kinder Zhurnal, where The Clever Little Tailor first appeared as a serial. Simon is best remembered as a children’s author; his treatment of the Chelm stories in Yiddish (Di Heldn fun Khelm) and in English (The Wise Men of Helm and their Merry Tales; More Wise Men of Helm) brought these stories into the homes of generations of American Jewish children. The Rabbi’s Bible, his abridged version of the Hebrew Bible with commentaries for children, was widely used in Sunday schools for a half century. Simon died in 1970.
David R. Forman (Translator): The grandson of Yiddish author Solomon Simon, Dr. Forman was first a calligrapher and graphic artist, then a psychology researcher and college professor, before finally returning to his early love of writing. His poetry has been published online, in anthologies, and in literary journals such as Cimarron Review. Dr. Forman began studying Yiddish in his fifties to fulfill a lifelong vow to read and translate his grandfather’s work. He lives in Ithaca, NY, where he teaches a beginning Yiddish class at Cornell and catalogs Yiddish manuscripts for Cornell University Library.
Yehuda Blum (Illustrator): A freelance illustrator, Mr. Blum was the staff illustrator at the Yiddish Forward from 2015-2019, where his diverse artistic styles gave the paper its distinctive look. Blum is a fluent Yiddish speaker who is continuing the family tradition of working in Yiddish publishing; his grandfather was a typesetter for the Yiddish Forward.