Big Dreams, Small Fish

$17.99 USD

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Sydney Taylor Honor Book

In the new country, Shirley and her family all have big dreams. Take the family store: Shirley has great ideas about how to make it more modern! Prettier! More profitable! She even thinks she can sell the one specialty no one seems to want to try: Mama’s homemade gefilte fish.

But her parents think she’s too young to help. And anyway they didn’t come to America for their little girl to work. “Go play with the cat!” they urge.

This doesn’t stop Shirley’s ideas, of course. And one day, when the rest of the family has to rush out leaving her in the store with sleepy Mrs. Gottlieb…Shirley seizes her chance!

Paula Cohen (1964-2022) grew up in Albany, NY where her grandparents owned a small family grocery store in an immigrant neighborhood. Her family treasured books, music, and the Yiddish language (which sadly she never learned). Her grandmother made amazing kugels and gefilte fish and luckily Paula learned to make both. Paula lived in a ramshackle 1920's home in NJ with her family and mini schnauzer. Big Dreams, Small Fish was her debut picture book.

“An affectionate ode to family, fish, and creative problem solving.”—BookPage

“A joyfully Jewish yet also marvelously universal tale of a little girl who knows she can make a difference for her family’s store… if only she gets the chance” — Joy Preble, Brazos Bookstore

“Beau­ti­ful­ly illus­trat­ed….Shirley is one smart child, a real asset to her striv­ing fam­i­ly. She is full of inno­v­a­tive ideas, which are depict­ed by Cohen with both humor and respect”—Jewish Book Network

“Writer and illus­tra­tor Paula Cohen suc­ceeds in this beau­ti­ful­ly illus­trat­ed sto­ry about an enter­pris­ing lit­tle girl who deter­mines to save her family’s shop by pro­mot­ing this dish to non-Jew­ish cus­tomers. Cohen deft­ly avoids a preachy tone, while con­vey­ing how peo­ple of dif­fer­ent back­grounds are both alike and dif­fer­ent. She also sends the mes­sage to young read­ers that they can make a dif­fer­ence, even when adults are skep­ti­cal of a child’s abil­i­ty to change the course of events.” — Jewish Book Council  

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