Lemuel is a fisherman and a fool. He dreams of building a boat that will take him across the sea to the enchanted, magical city that he is sure must lie just beyond the horizon. As time passes, his dr
"At night, while the other villagers dreamed of catching fish, Lemuel dreamed of sailing over the horizon."
Lemuel is a fisherman and a fool. He dreams of building a boat that will take him across the sea to the enchanted, magical city that he is sure must lie just beyond the horizon. As time passes, his dream grows stronger and despite his wife's protests, Lemuel sets out on his journey. How will he know he's going the right way? He ties a red scarf on the bow and a rope to the stern; as long as the scarf waves before him and the rope trails behind, he knows he'll be heading in the right direction.
Disoriented after a storm, Lemuel lands near a strange new village-except that it's strangely familiar, from the boats drawn up on the dock, to the hissing cats in the street, to the woman who looks and talks exactly like his own dear wife and lives in a house exactly like his own. The strange woman even calls him by name and makes him come home for dinner-where the furniture looks just like that in his home and the clothes he changes into fit him quite well. Later that night, a very confused Lemuel sets sail for home, telling himself, "I've had enough of this madness." With the red scarf before him and the rope trailing behind, he's confident he'll arrive at home again-and be safely back among the familiar.
A great fan of Jewish folklore, especially the rich tradition of "fools" and stories of Chelm, Myron Uhlberg also looked to his own family for inspiration when writing Lemuel the Fool. His maternal grandfather, John, was consumed by wanderlust and "was always looking for the next great adventure, the next opportunity, the next place he could prosper-which was always somewhere else." Young readers will enjoy the silly charm of Lemuel's journey, beautifully illustrated by Sonja Lamut.
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"Uhlberg presents a properly poker-faced retelling of a popular European folktale.... The tale's mild humor is picked up in Lamut's airy paintings.... This rib-tickler should induce many a young armchair traveler to pay a visit to Chelm or Gotham." --Kirkus Reviews
"Uhlberg polishes a gem from the treasure trove of Jewish folklore with this snappy adaptation of a Chelm tale.... Uhlberg's drily understated humor maximizes the comedy as well as readers' affection for the hapless hero and his doltish scheme. Lamut makes a great leap forward with these graceful illustrations.... Fresh and diverting." --Publishers Weekly
"The fun is in the straight-faced comedy and lively pictures that contrast the warm, settled community with the innocent who thinks he's sailed away." --Booklist
"This quietly humorous ending will draw smiles from listeners. The framed, softly painted illustrations give the book an albumlike quality that heightens the sense of old-world fantasy... Story and pictures combine to form a fine choice...." --School Library Journal
"The tale is told well, and the illustrations are drawn with energy and conviction." --The Horn Book Guide
View Description for teachers/educators
# Leveling Information
# Accelerated Reader
# AR Quiz#: 46503
# AR Reading Level: 4.1
# AR Points: 0.5
# F&P (Fountas & Pinnell)
# F&P Level: M
# F&P Grade: 2-3
View Biographical note
MYRON UHLBERG is the author of Dad, Jackie, and Me, The Printer, Flying Over Brooklyn and Lemuel the Fool. A retired businessman, he lives in California.
SONJA LAMUT, illustrator, painter, and print maker, has received numerous awards for her work in the U.S. and in Europe. She has illustrated more than thirty books, including How Many Candles?, Alex And The Cat, and The Private Diary of Katie Roberts. She lives with her family in New York City, where she teaches illustration at the Fashion Institute of Technology.