Between Parent & Child: Questions to Talk About:


1. This story was adapted from an Appalachian folktale called Sody Sallyraytus from Richard Chase's Grandfather Tales. Read a picture book version of the tale (see bibliography below) and compare it to Once Upon a Shabbos.

2. Compare the settings of Once Upon a Shabbos and Sody Sallyratus. Setting is where a story takes place. Why is the setting important to the story? How is the story changed by moving it to a different place?

3. Compare the characters in Sody Sallyratus and Once Upon a Shabbos. Do they talk or act differently? How does the story change by telling it with characters from a different culture?

4. How is the ending of Once Upon a Shabbos different from Sody Sallyratus?

5. Once Upon a Shabbos uses several Yiddish words. Yiddish is a language made from a mixture of Hebrew and German. Many Yiddish words have slipped into American culture. For example, klutz is a Yiddish word meaning clumsy. Do you know any other Yiddish words? Look in a Yiddish dictionary to find more.


  • The Complete Idiot's Guide to Learning Yiddish by Rabbi Benjamin Blech (Alpha Books, 2000)
  • Grandfather Tales by Richard Chase (Houghton Mifflin, 1948)
  • The New Joys of Yiddish by Leo Rosten (Three Rivers Press, 2003)
  • Sody Salleratus by Aubrey Davis (Kids Can press, 1996)
  • Sody Sallyratus by Joanne Compton (Holiday House, 1995)
  • Sody Sallyratus by Terri Sloat (Dutton, 1997)