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Children's Fiction Jewish

A Sack Full of Feathers Read-Along

by (author) Debby Waldman

illustrated by Cindy Revell

read by David Skulski

Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
Sep 2016
Jewish, Values & Virtues, Country & Ethnic
Recommended Age
3 to 5
Recommended Grade
p to k
Recommended Reading age
3 to 5
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2016
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


Yankel loves to tell stories, as long as they are someone else's.

He does not see the hurt that his stories cause, the way they spread and change. Then the rabbi hands him a bag of feathers and tells him to place one on every doorstep in the village. Yankel is changed by what happens and finds himself with his best story yet, one of his very own.

About the authors

Growing up in Utica, N.Y., Debby Waldman loved reading so much that she often fell asleep clutching a book. She wanted to write books when she grew up, but she detoured into journalism school at Syracuse University because journalism seemed a safer bet for earning a living.

Since graduating in 1982, Debby has been a newspaper reporter and a freelance writer. She also earned an MFA in creative writing from Cornell University in 1991, and has taught at Cornell, Ithaca College, St. Lawrence University, and Grant MacEwan College. Her writing has appeared in publications including People, Parents, Glamour, Sports Illustrated, Sports Illustrated for Kids, Publishers Weekly, Chatelaine, the Washington Post, and More Canada. She writes a bi-weekly family column for The Edmonton Journal.

Debby's picturebooks are based on Jewish folk tales. Her first, A Sack Full of Feathers, was short-listed for awards in Alberta, Ontario, and Saskatchewan and was named a 2007 Best Book for Kids and Teens by the Canadian Children's Book Centre. Her second, Clever Rachel, was published in October of 2009 and was one of Resource Links' "The Year's Best". Cindy Revell illustrated both books. Debby's third picture book, Room Enough for Daisy, written with fellow Edmontonian Rita Feutl, is scheduled for publication in October 2011.

Debby lives in Edmonton with her husband and two children. She is available for readings and to conduct writing workshops with students of all ages. When not working on one of her many writing projects, she enjoys reading, cycling, baking, attempting to make nutritionally balanced meals for her family, and ferrying her children to music lessons and sports activities. More information is available on her website:

Debby Waldman's profile page

Cindy Revell planned on becoming an artist ever since her first taste of wax crayons during her childhood in Carrot River, a small town in Saskatchewan. After some very uncreative forays into the working world Cindy realized that she needed to get back to art and went to college receiving her diploma in Environmental Graphic Design. Cindy worked as a designer and illustrator eventually going on to become an award winning freelance illustrator.

Her illustrations have been used on billboards, wine bottles, books, magazines, calendars, furniture, packaging and numerous children's books all over North America. She was nominated in 2001 for a Governor General's award for children's book illustration (Mallory and the Power Boy). Some of her clients are: Adobe, L.A. Times, Washington Post, Harvard Business Review, Better Homes and Gardens, Cornell University, Penguin Putnam, Annick Press, Orca Book Publishers and Scholastic.

As well as being an illustrator, she is an accomplished oil painter. Several years of regular oil painting classes, numerous international and provincial workshops and traveling to view and learn from the old masters as well as her design and illustration training have helped her develop as a traditional realist.

Cindy loves the work of the Flemish oil painters and Spanish artist, Luis Melendez, while her illustration has been inspired by folk, medieval, and eastern art. Her oil painting and illustration are vastly different from one another, the oil paintings tending to be simple and elegant while the illustrations are full of pattern and whimsy. The common element in her oil paintings and illustrations is her use of colour which is always rich and lush.

Cindy is represented by Deborah Wolfe Ltd. See her work at

Cindy Revell's profile page

David Skulski's profile page


  • Short-listed, SYRCA Shining Willow nominee
  • Short-listed, Blue Spruce nominee
  • Commended, PJ Library Selection
  • Commended, CCBC Our Choice
  • Short-listed, R. Ross Annett Award nominee
  • Short-listed, CLA Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator's Award nominee

Excerpt: A Sack Full of Feathers Read-Along (by (author) Debby Waldman; illustrated by Cindy Revell; read by David Skulski)

"I never saw a feather," Levi said. "If you wanted me to have a feather, why didn't you knock on the door and hand it to me?"
"The rabbi told me to leave it on your doorstep," Yankel explained.
"Why on my doorstep? What's this about a feather?"
"Not just your doorstep. Everyone's doorstep. I don't know why, but the rabbi said to do it, so I must. And if your feather is gone, then I must go too, for I have many feathers to find before the sun sets."

Editorial Reviews

"Its moral and drawings are first class.

The Jewish Independent

"A valuable addition to any library, this book is highly recommended to people of all ages and walks of life."

Multicultural Review

"The fun in this retelling of a Jewish folktale is not in the lesson, but in the setting, the people, and the stories they tell."


"A wonderfully illustrated book...The art warmly underlines the plot...Refreshing."

Jewish Book World

"Waldman uses rich language which brings life to the story…Children will enjoy this story as a read-aloud."

CM Magazine

"The paintings are colorful and joyous, indicative of the joy of the 'old country'...This tale sticks with the familiar format of other Jewish folktales, with a lesson that even young children can understand."

Jewish Book World

Other titles by Debby Waldman

Other titles by Cindy Revell

Other titles by David Skulski