Green Bean Books

But Perhaps, Just Maybe…

But perhaps, just maybe cover
Written by Tuvia Dikman Oro
Illustrated by Menahem Halberstadt

Price: £10.99 / $12.99
Pages: 32
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781784387365
Subject: Touching story about seeing the best in people

Highlights

  • Tale about two friends who set off to get their bicycles fixed and encounter setbacks brought about by their friends along the way

  • Reminds children not to judge people quickly and to see situations from someone else’s point of view

  • Beautifully-illustrated by Menahem Halberstadt

Description

But perhaps, just maybe.” suggested Hedgehog, “Mr Billy Goat saw a big hole in the road and sealed it off so no one would fall in.”

A beautifully-illustrated picture book for young readers, that teaches children to have the patience to look past annoyances, and not judge people too quickly.

Duck and Hedgehog wheel their broken bicycles to Mrs. Hoopoe’s Bicycle Shop to get their fit tyres fixed. Suddenly, Cat whizzes past them on her motorcycle, leaving Duck and Hedgehog choking on clouds of dust. Duck is annoyed, but Hedgehog suggests that maybe Cat is rushing off to see her injured sister.

Afterwards, Duck and Hedgehog have to navigate around a rock rolled into the street by Mr. Billy Goat. Once again, Duck is irritated, but Hedgehog wonders if Mr. Billy Goat was trying to fill a pothole in the road. When Duck and Hedgehog, tired and hungry, want to snack on raspberries along the way, they discover that Mrs. Fox has picked all the fruit.

Duck is understandably grumpy, but Hedgehog imagines Mrs. Fox might have picked the berries to share with friends. Finally, at Mrs. Hoopoe’s Bicycle Shop, Duck and Hedgehog catch up with Cat, Mr. Billy Goat and Mrs. Fox.

As everyone enjoys raspberry juice together, Duck realises that Hedgehog was right all along, and that his friends each had good reasons for unintentionally creating the earlier problems!

Authors Details

Tuvia Dikman Oro lives in a small village in the Galilee, in a place where a stream opens up and you can see the sea and also, in the distance, an ancient fortress. He prepares honey and sweet, healthy spreads. He has three children. And he loves electric guitars.

Read his interview >

Illustrator Details

Menahem Halberstadt began to draw in school, scribbling in notebooks and creating funny creatures and characters. Since school, all of his work has been inspired by his interests as a creator, to create worlds of characters with emotions and stories. Halberstadt studied painting and drawing under the instruction of the famous Israeli artists Leonid Balaklav and Aram Gershuni. Following this, he studied animation at the Betzalel Academy and graphic design at Hadassah Academic College, Jerusalem. Halberstadt now works as an illustrator with a number of publishing houses in Israel. He lives in Israel with his wife and four children.

Reviews

‘Stop me if you’ve heard this one before; a duck and a hedge­hog set off for the bicy­cle repair shop. Actu­al­ly, Tuvia Dik­man Oro and Mena­hem Halberstadt’s pic­ture book fea­tur­ing these ani­mals is not a joke but rather a gen­tle inter­pre­ta­tion of the guide­lines for judg­ing human behav­ior from the Pirke Avot (Ethics of the Fathers). The sec­ond cen­tu­ry B.C.E. schol­ar, Joshua Ben Per­ahi­ah, cau­tioned,  “Find for your­self a teacher, choose for your­self a friend, and judge every­one with the scale weight­ed in their favor.” This direc­tive is the epi­graph for But Per­haps, Just Maybe…, because it is not always easy to keep this tenet in mind, par­tic­u­lar­ly when you are angry or frustrated… 

Young read­ers will empathize with Duck and Hedgehog’s sense of urgency; their bicy­cles are bro­ken and there are many obsta­cles on the road to solv­ing their prob­lem. The text describes the facts of their adven­ture but also includes many details that bring the char­ac­ters to life. A zoom­ing motor­cy­cle rais­es a  “bil­low­ing cloud of dust,” and a cat reports that her sis­ter had  “tripped and sprained the tip of her whisker.” The pic­tures share the qual­i­ty of the words, with broad­ly drawn ani­mals resem­bling those in folk tales, but also with touch­es of col­or and light that make them real. 

Duck and Hedgehog’s oppos­ing views of behav­ior would seem to imply that they are on two par­al­lel paths, des­tined to nev­er meet. But, in fact, just maybe, the book proves that we can some­times admit when we are wrong and move for­ward. A work­ing bicy­cle, a glass of rasp­ber­ry juice, and even an improved friend­ship, may await.’  –  Emi­ly Schnei­der, Jewish Book Council

Why is this book so wonderful?  First of all, it is based on a verse from Ethics of the Fathers (Pirke Avot). Not only is Pirke Avot our favorite Jewish text, but the book is based on one of our favorite verses, which is translated so beautifully as the beginning of the book:

Joshua ben Perahiah would say: Find for yourself a teacher, choose for yourself a friend, and judge everyone with the scale weighted in their favor (Chapter 1, Verse 6).  The verse is often translated as “Make for yourself a rabbi, acquire for yourself a friend, and give everyone the benefit of the doubt.” 

Either way, these are important words to live by.

Next, the adorable illustrations by Menahem Halberstadt, illustrator of many children’s book and the man behind the art in the hit series Shtisel. The use of native Israeli animals and birds — the hedgehog (kipod – very popular in kid’s books and TV shows) and the hoopoe (national bird of Israel) — gives the book an Israeli flavor, even though the story could have taken place anywhere.

Then you have Duck and Hedgehog whose bicycles both have flat tires. While Duck is continually frustrated by others’ actions, Hedgehog keeps repeating the refrain, “But perhaps, just maybe,” finding alternate explanations for things like a cat stirring up dust and a rock in the road while they walk their bicycles to the repair shop.

So not only do we learn about giving the benefit of the doubt, we learn about choosing a friend that can be positive and see things differently.  And, of course, at the end, Hedgehog was right about all the situations they encountered.

We love this book, and perhaps, just maybe… you’ll love it, too!’

‘There are not many picture books based on verses from Pirke Avot. This simple story, translated from Hebrew, is an example of what can be done to demonstrate the sages’ words. 

Tuvia Dikman Oro has chosen Avot 1.6 as the theme. “Joshua ben Perahiah would say: Find yourself a teacher, choose a friend, and judge everyone with the scale weighted in their favor.” The story is simple. Duck and Hedgehog find that their bikes have flat tires. On their way to Mrs. Hoopoe’s bike shop they pass several of their neighbors, each too preoccupied with their own tasks to acknowledge the passers-by. Duck complains, but Hedgehog suggests there may be a reason for their unfriendliness. When Duck and Hedgehog arrive at the shop, they find the others, who apologize and explain their reasons. 
The lessons of Pirke Avot are available to all of us, if we would listen. This story for preschoolers can be a reminder for all of us not to make assumptions about others. Because the verse is at the front rather than the back, young readers can engage with it as they read or hear the story.’ – Association of Jewish Libraries
 

‘Halberstadt’s palette combines earth tones and more vibrant ones in a quirky mix which really vibes with Oro’s text, which is translated here from the original Hebrew by Gila Kahn-Hoffman’ – Sydney Taylor Schmooze