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The Magic Pomegranate: A Jewish Folktale

by Peninnah Schram

Other authors: Melanie Hall (Illustrator)

Series: On My Own Folklore

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947214,102 (3.7)None
Three handsome and clever brothers compete to find the world's most unusual gift. Includes a note on doing good deeds, or mitzvot, and discusses the symbolism of the pomegranate in Judaism.



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The Magic Pomegranate is a Jewish Folktale about three brothers who decide to take individual journeys to different countries in order to find the most unusual gift. The oldest brother travels to the west, the middle brother travels to the east, and the youngest brother travels to the south, and they all meet back up 10 years later with their unusual gifts. They find out that there is a sick princess in need and the three brothers travel to her rescue. Each of the brothers' unusual gifts aided in the recovery of the princess, but one of them was the most selfless, giving up something of his own. It is this brother who was granted the hand of the princess in marriage. The moral of the story is that those who are the most selfless reap the greatest rewards.

I didn't find the language particularly lively, but the book did capture my interest and kept me reading to find out what unusual gifts the brothers were going to find, as well as what they were going to do with those gifts. I will say that I would have liked to see something different in terms of what the brother's used their unusual gifts for, rather than saving an ill princess. I liked the moral of the story but, all in all, I would consider this book just ok. ( )
  albethea | Nov 24, 2018 |
An interesting tale of brotherly adventure, cooperation, and competition with a lesson that sacrifice for the gain of others is valued. We have the motif of princess as commodity again, but she has some choice in the matter and demonstrates wisdom in exercising that choice.
  Ms.Kunz | Jul 6, 2014 |
Part of the On My Own Folklore series, which presents early readers with world folktales adapted to their reading level, The Magic Pomegranate was originally collected in Peninnah Schram's Jewish Stories One Generation Tells Another.
A cumulative tale of three questing brothers, each of whom sets out to discover an extraordinary gift, and who use those gifts to heal a sick princess, this engaging story has elements that will appeal to both girls and boys. Folktales are an ideal method of communicating important cultural, religious and ethical values, and as Schram notes in her afterword, this tale embodies the Talmudic concept of self sacrifice as the highest form of "mitzvah," or good deed.

With the brief author's note, glossary, and list of further reading, this title is both entertaining and educational. I recently read and reviewed Schram's collection, The Hungry Clothes and Other Jewish Folktales, which I greatly enjoyed, and was consequently quite happy to find another children's book by the same author. ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Jun 25, 2013 |
A story about three brothers and their search for magical items. Each brother finds a different item and returns in ten years to tell what he had found. When sharing their gifts the three brothers learned of a princess that was on the verge of death. With their magical gifts each one goes and helps the princess, but only the pomegranate really saves the princess' life and the power of giving selflessly.
  toribori19 | Mar 18, 2013 |
This was a neat little tale I'd never heard before (granted, I'm not Jewish). I liked its "lesson" along with the author's note and glossary at the end.
  mschurchill | Dec 16, 2011 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Peninnah Schramprimary authorall editionscalculated
Hall, MelanieIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed

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Three handsome and clever brothers compete to find the world's most unusual gift. Includes a note on doing good deeds, or mitzvot, and discusses the symbolism of the pomegranate in Judaism.

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