Yiddish with Dick and Jane
Jane is in real estate.
Today is Saturday.
Jane has an open house.
She must schlep the Open House signs to the car.
See Jane schlep.
Schlep, Jane. Schlep.
Schlep, schlep, schlep.
In text that captures the unque rhythms of the original Dick and Jane readers, and in 35 all-new illustrations, a story unfolds in which Dick and Jane--hero and heroine of the classic books for children that generations of Americans have used when learning to read--manage to express shades of feeling and nuances of meaning that ordinary English just can't deliver. How? By speaking Yiddish, employing terms that convey an attitude--part plucky self-assertion, part ironic fatalism. When Dick schmoozes, when Jane kvetches, when their children fress noodles at a Chinese restaurant, the clash of cultures produces genuine hilarity.
- In true primer fashion, YIDDISH WITH DICK AND JANE tells a simple story: Grandma gets sick and Dick and Jane's sister Sally visits. The book also features subplots about such ethical dilemmas as gift-giving etiquette and marital infidelity.
- The comedy intensifies in the glossary, which defines (with chutzpah aplenty!) each Yiddish term introduced in the text.
- Ellis Weiner's recent books include a novel, Drop Dead, My Lovely (NAL, March 2004), and The Joy of Worry, with illustrations by Roz Chast (Chronicle, June 2004).
Yiddish with George and Laura
What do George and Laura Bush have in common with Dick and Jane? Well, both hail from prototypical WASP families. And, perhaps more to the point, both exhibit a natural resistance to moral complexity (i.e., reality).
That's the premise of this hilarious new primer-style book in which George, Laura, and the entire Bush family communicate with uncharacteristic expressiveness, conveying shades of of feeling and nuances of meaning that plain old English can't deliver--by peppering their conversatuon with Yiddishisms.
See George's mother.
Her name is Bar.
She wears a lot of pearls and is a farbisseneh.
"You are late, George," Bar says.
"Of course I am late," George says.
"I am the President of the United States.
I am a big macher."
Like all good primers, YIDDISH WITH GEORGE AND LAURA tells a simple story--and, in the end, important life lessons are imparted.
How to Raise a Jewish Dog
As previously mentioned, our system focuses on raising dogs as we ourselves were raised as Jewish children and on the ways in which we reacted to that. First, then, the goal is to instill in the dog the assumptions and values our parents instilled in us. They include the following:
* The knowledge that we have to be perfect, or we'll be very disappointing to those who love us.
* The knowledge that we must be very careful whenever we leave home because the world is full of lunatics.
* The knowledge that most people are out to take advantage of us, so the only people we can really trust are our family.
* The knowledge that, no matter how smart we think we are, we are wrong about certain things, and the sooner we accept that fact, the better.
* The knowledge that we can be really very selfish and hurtful, so thank goodness there are people who are willing to put up with us, although God knows why.
* The knowledge that our hair will always look bad.
The (make-believe) Rabbis of the (fictional) Boca Raton Theological Seminary have developed the essential dog training program for raising a Jewish dog. For the first time, the same dynamic blend of passive-aggressiveness and smothering indulgence, that unique alloy of infantilization and disingenuous manipulation that created generations of high-achieving Jewish boys and girls, can be applied to create a generation of high-achieving Jewish doggies. Written (for real) by Ellis Weiner and Barbara Davilman, co-authors of the bestselling Yiddish with Dick and Jane and Yiddish with George and Laura, this essential "guide" is a complete howl.