Academy BJE, NSW Australia  

Read the story then click on the links below it to do the exercises.


One of the most famous stories for Jewish children is ‘K’tonton’.  The K’tonton series –'K’tantan' in modern Hebrew – was first written more that 50 years ago in America by Sadie Rose Weilerstein. Children still read these books today. 

‘K’tantan’ means a small, tiny object.  The book tells about the adventures of a tiny Jewish Tom Thumb-type boy called K’tonton. Read it and see what happens to him.


                     K’TONTON ARRIVES

Once upon a time there lived a husband and a wife.  They had everything in the world to make them happy.  Or almost everything.  A good snug house, clothes to keep them warm, white bread and wine and fish for Friday night.  Only one thing was missing and that was a child.

“Ah,” the woman would sigh, “if only I could have a child!  I shouldn’t mind if he were no bigger than a thumb.”

On Sukkot, the wife was praying in the synagogue when she happened to look down.  There at her side stood a little old woman.  Such a strange, wrinkled old woman with deep, kind eyes peering up at her from under a shawl!

“Why do you look so sad,” asked the old woman, “and why do you pray with such feeling?”

“I am sad,” answered the wife, “because I have no child.  Ah, that I might have a child!  I shouldn’t mind if he were no bigger than a thumb.”

“In that case,” said the little old woman, “I shall tell you what to do.  Does your husband have an etrog?”

“Indeed he has,” said the wife.

“Then,” said the old woman, “on the last day of  Sukkot you must take the etrog and bite off the end and you shall have your wish.”

The wife thanked the little old woman kindly.  When the last day of Sukkot came she bit off the end of the etrog just as she had been told. 

Sure enough, before the year had passed a little baby was born to her.  It was a dear little baby boy, with black hair, black eyes, dimples in his knees and thumbs just right for sucking.  There was only one thing different about him.  He was exactly the size of a thumb.  Not one bit smaller or larger.

The wife laughed when she saw him.  I don’t know whether she laughed because she was so glad, or because it seemed so funny to have a baby as big as a thumb. 

The husband said, “We shall call him Isaac because Isaac means laughter.”  Then because they were so thankful to God for sending him they gave the baby a second name, Samuel. 

Of course you couldn’t call such a little baby Isaac Samuel all the time.  So they called him K’tonton, which means very, very little; and that’s exactly what he was.

The first thing they had to do was to find a cradle for the baby to sleep in.

“Fetch me the etrog box,” said the wife to her husband.  “It was the etrog that brought our precious K’tonton to us and the etrog box shall be his cradle.”

So K’tonton grew until he was as tall as his father’s middle finger.  By this time he wasn’t a baby any longer.  He was a little boy.  He wore trousers and a little shirt and a tiny kippah.  He had many, many adventures.

                          ACTIVITY 1

K'tonton Spoon Puppets

You will need:

a wooden spoon
paint or textas
a paintbrush
pipe cleaners

Paint or draw a design on a wooden spoon. Cut legs or ears from cardboard or fabric and glue them on. Glue on pipe cleaners or wool for hair and cut out a paper kippah. Get ready to put on a puppet show!

                          ACTIVITY 2

K'tonton finger puppets

Print this page - choose black and white.
Colour the Imma, Abba and K'tonton puppets.
Cut them out.
The two holes at the bottom of the puppet are for your fingers.
Create your own K'tonton adventures.

My Quia activities and quizzes
Last updated  2009/08/18 10:29:49 AESTHits  1073