PPBF! The Schmutzy Family by Madelyn Rosenberg

I write for the UBFP Newspaper!

I write for the UBFP Newspaper!

I have some exciting news! Marni Jarman of the “Words to Dreams” blog read my December Upper Bucks Free Press newspaper article and liked it so much that she wanted to put it on her blog. ๐Ÿ™‚ I didn’t post my December article on my blog (I had things way over scheduled) but you can read it at Mrs. Jarman’s blog HERE. It is about book-related gift ideas for kids! I hope you like it!

Now onto PPBF!

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of โ€œperfectโ€ picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because it teaches about another culture and the mom in the book let the kids be MESSY!

theschmutzyfamilyThe Schmutzy Family

by Madelyn Rosenberg

32 Pages – Ages 4+

Published by Holiday House on August 1, 2012

Theme/Topic โ€“ I don’t know how to say what the topic is in a couple of words but it’s about letting kids be kids (maybe somebody can help me) and the other topic would be Jewish Traditions

Opening and Synopsis โ€“ From the inside jacket –

“Sunday through Friday, the Schmutzy children are encouraged to explore, experiment, and create. It’s messy work involving mud pies, tomato sauce, worms, and frogs!

But on Friday morning, Mama exclaims, “Look at this dirt… And It’s nearly SHABBOS. We can’t bring in the Sabbath smelling like COWS!”

Mama Schmutzy lets her kids explore and create even if it is MESSY (and it does get very messy). She encourages her kids to create and learn but on Friday, she expects all the Schmutzys to help clean up and get ready for the Sabbath.

Why I liked this book โ€“This is a funny book with great illustrations. I like the ending (not telling ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) a lot. It tells an important message – have fun and get messy, but you still have a responsibility to clean up. My Mom let’s us play messy. I like that. It also teaches about some Jewish traditions. I am not Jewish and I liked learning about the Shabbos. I think it is important to learn about other cultures and religions. I think this book will make a great read-aloud! I recommend this book to kids 4+!

Activities and Resources โ€“ย 

Let your kids get MESSY!! Let them jump in mud puddles and roll around in the dirt. ๐Ÿ˜€

Get a can of shaving cream and spray it on a table or in a bin and let your kid swirl his or her hands through it and make sculptures or draw pictures in it.

Use water-color paints and clean brushes and let your kids paint each other (Crayola makes non toxic water-color paints). Some places even have bath paints that are meant to be used on your body.

After all the messes are made, have your kids help clean up (which you can maybe make fun)!

I found a great blog with a whole section of sensory play activities (some messy) good for teachers and their students called Rubber Boots and Elf Shoes (this blog will also be important at the end of my post ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). Click HERE to go to it.

I also want to mention that I won my signed copy ofย  “The Schmutzy Family” on Jama Rattigan’s “Jama’s Alphabet Soup” blog. Thanks Ms. Rattigan! If you’ve never visited Ms. Rattigan’s blog you should!It is a lot of fun. She posts about books, food and writing! Click HERE to go to her blog.

To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hillโ€™s blog HERE.


NOW for the winner of the signed copy of “A Bad Kitty Christmas”. Josie picked a name out of a hat containing all the entries. The winner is –

Sandi Purdell-Lewis of the Rubber Boots and Elf Shoes Blog!! Congratulations! I will email you to get your mailing address!

Categories: Age 1-5

40 replies

  1. Thanks for the shout out and this fab review! You captured the theme and essence of this book very well, and I love your activity suggestions :)! Congrats on getting your article posted at Words to Dreams :).

  2. I want to be part of the Schmutzy Family after reading this. We have a gentlemen at our church who is Jewish. He has shared many of the traditions and even cooked a Seder meal for us. Also congrats on your article! You have a wonderful list of ideas – better than some I’ve seen by professionals.

  3. Erik, thanks so much for this review! And for making the activity guide as well. I think A LOT of shaving cream is in our future. All best!

  4. Great timing on this post, Erik, seeing it’s the middle of Hanukkah. My family isn’t Jewish, either, but a few years ago, for homeschool, my kids and I studied and celebrated all six of the Jewish feasts AND a Sabbath. It was cool to see how they relate to the Christian faith. (Every feast points to Messiah.) We retained our two favorites, Hanukkah and Passover, and we still celebrate them every year. In fact, I’ll be sharing one of my favorite Hanukkah picture books on my blog on Sunday.

  5. Erik, congratulations on getting your article posted at Words to Dreams.

    I really like the sound of this one. I have been dating a Jew and learning lots of yiddish expressions and more about their faith. It’s been super and I am looking forward to the big family Hannukah party this weekend!

    Your activities are brilliant!

  6. We do get messy – with and without my assistance. And I try to make clean up fun.
    This sounds like a great book. Library website here I come.
    Thanks for the shoutout and link.
    And thanks for the book — you made my Friday ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. I think you did a fine job capturing the heart of this story. Not sure if I could let my kiddo get as messy as the children in this book apparently get. I’d have a heart attack before the middle of the week from the effort of holding back my inner neat freak lol!!

  8. I am a great believer in allowing kids to get messy. It has always been part of the fun of childhood. And it is always great when children can learn about each other’s cultures.

  9. Congratulations on having your article posted on Words to Dreams. It was a wonderful article!

    Love and licks,

  10. It’s fun to get messy. What a fun book for kids. Love your suggested activities! You have great parents. Also read your article on Words to Dreams and liked your Christmas gift suggestions.

  11. CONGRADS ON THE ARTICLE!!! Yahooieee!!!

    What a cool cover. And such an excellent review. You just keep gettin’ better and better at this. The Schmutzy’s are wonderful! And so are you. Great choice for PPBF.

  12. Congratulations on the article, the ‘re-post’, and winning this book! The German word for dirty is schmutzig, which must have a shared origin with the Yiddish. I think grown-ups need to get schmutzig now and again too!

  13. Great ideas for messy activities! We’ve done the shaving cream one before but not for a long time, maybe time to try it again. Thanks for the reminder!

  14. I love messy!!! Looks like my kind of book! Your activities look fun too! Thanks for the ideas!

  15. What a fun book, Erik! I must confess I had a difficult time letting my kids make messes. I love the idea that it is tied up in the Jewish faith and culture. Thanks!

  16. Messy. What’s that? What a wonderful activity to coincide with this book. I love it!

  17. Congrats to Sandi for winning Bad Kitty!

    This picture book sounds fabulous. I love the rhymes and the exploring the kids do! I have added it to my list to check out soon!

  18. I just love the sound of this book and your suggestions for resources are great, too. I love the one with shaving cream. I think that sounds like so much fun I might just try it without the kids. lol.

    congrats on getting your article published in Jarms blog, Erik! I loved it and commented. ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. This book (and your suggested activities) sound like tons of fun! I like that for our special day you chose a book about a religion that you had room to learn something about. Did you ever read All Of A Kind Family? I loved the whole series when I was a kid, though especially the first one, and I learned a lot Jewish holidays and traditions from those books. Just goes to show how much books can enlighten you ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for adding this one to our list!

  20. Hi Erik, the book cover looks Schmutzy great and I like the entire concept of kids getting down and dirty. Looks like a real fun book. ๐Ÿ™‚

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