Green Bean Books

The Fabulous Tale of Fish ‘N’ Chips

Watch the authors and take a peek inside

Written by Helaine Becker
Illustrated by Omer Hoffman

Price: £ 9.99 / $12.99
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781784385705


  • A vivid fictional account of how the iconic British meal, fish and chips, was born.
  • Celebrates the contributions made by immigrants to British culture.
  • Includes historical notes and the author’s own old family recipe for fried fish in matzo meal.


Joseph Malin loves his grandmother’s fried fish, which she makes to an old family recipe.

It’s so good, he thinks he might be able to make some money from it; money that his immigrant Jewish family desperately needs. He takes it into the marketplace of 19th Century London’s East End and calls out to passers-by: ‘Fresh from the ships/Hot n’ tasty fried fish’. Before long, people are coming from far and wide to try the delicious snack.

But his success inspires a rival. Annette, the greengrocer across the street, sees an opportunity to hawk her own family favourite: Belgian-style fried potatoes. Piping hot chips!”/So crisp, so delish, she calls. And they’re a hit too.

The competition between Joseph and Annette heats up as they each try to outsell each other at the market. And then one day…Crash! The two collide. Chips slip. Fish flies. It’s a disaster. Or—perhaps not…

This is the playful fictional account of how the real-life Joseph Malin, a poor Jewish immigrant invented fish and chips, the iconic British menu item.

Author Details

Helaine Becker is the bestselling author of more than 90 books for children and young adults, including the No. 1 Canadian national bestseller A Porcupine in a Pine Tree (Scholastic Canada) and the international bestseller Counting on Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Saved Apollo 13 (Henry Holt). Her books have won multiple awards and been translated into ten languages. A New York native, Helaine has lived in Toronto, Canada for more than 20 years. She has also written Gottika for Green Bean Books.

Illustrator Details

Omer Hoffmann is an Israeli illustrator. His diverse body of work includes illustrations for newspapers, children’s books and comics worldwide. Omer’s illustrations were selected for the Hans Christian Andersen Illustration Honour List 2016 for the book Hardil Lo Ragill.

He lives in Givatayim with his wife and their two children. He also illustrated The Sages of Chelm and the Moon, published by Green Bean Books.

‘The story is wonderfully penned. Right from the first page to the last, it holds your attention. The language is quite simple and hence easy to understand for little readers. The illustrations add further magic to the book. They are fabulous and support the narrative flow perfectly… I simply adored this fictional take on the origin of fish and chips and would heartily recommend it to independent readers aged 6+.’  – NetGalley

‘Joseph Malin loves catching and eating fish – but selling it is hard, until he thinks of marketing it ready-friend. Then, it sells like hot fish – exciting customers so much that they story buying veg from the vendor next door. So she reinvents her potatoes… The Fabulous Tale of Fish & Chips by Helaine Becker begins with the real history of Joseph Malin’s business success – then serves up the chips. Omer Hoffmann’s wonderfully detailed drawings – and Becker’s family fried-fish recipe complete the delicious package’.  – Angela Kiverstein, The Jewish Chronicle