Book Review: The Carp in the Bathtub

Harry and Leah have a problem. There’s a fish in their bathtub, but that isn’t the problem. The problem is that the fish is dinner.

Mama’s special Passover dish is gefilte fish, special fish balls made from a carp. The best fish always sell out early, and dead fish spoil quickly, so the carp has to live in the bathtub for a week waiting to be cooked. Harry and Leah love to feed the carp, and especially appreciate that as long as the fish is there they can’t take a bath.

But Harry and Leah cannot bring themselves to eat gefilte fish. Who could eat a friend? And thus year’s carp is extra special; he is smart and friendly, and his name is Joe. They have to think of a way to rescue Joe before Mama turns him into the Passover meal!

The Carp in the bathtub is a delightful story about understanding and responsibility. For my children it was also an introduction to a time and traditions different from ours while demonstrating that children everywhere and in every age are all the same. By the way, Harry and Leah still don’t eat gefilte fish.

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