The Clever Little Tailor by Solomon Simon, Translated by David Forman

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Young readers 8 to 13

Bilingual text in Yiddish and English with stunning illustrations by Yehuda Blum.

Deeply rooted in Eastern European Jewish folkways and humor, Solomon Simon's charming novel for young readers is available for the first time in English.

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." 

About the author:

Solomon 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.

Early life:

Solomon Simon was born in Belarus in 1895. Simon came to the United States 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 died in 1970.

Hardcover book

Kinder-Loshn Publications, 2021   Originally published in Yiddish in 1933