A Basket Full of Figs

Ori Elon

Recreating one of the Midrash's most beautiful tales, A Basket of Figs teaches the importance of caring for the environment and consideration for our fellow human beings.
Date Published :
November 2019
Publisher :
Green Bean Books
Contributor(s) :
Menahem Halberstadt
Illustration :
30 color illustrations
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding : Paperback
ISBN : 9781784384722

Stock Status : In stockPages : 32
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‘I plant a fig, I plant a gift. For children, for the coming generations.’

When the Emperor Hadrian gallops into the village, its inhabitants hide in fear. All except one. An old man, almost one hundred years old, comes outside to plant a fig tree.

Hadrian stops his horse. ‘What are you doing?’ he asks the old man. ‘That tree is so small and you are so old!
Surely you won’t live long enough to eat its fruit!’ The old man responds: ‘if I don’t then my children will’.

Three years later, Hadrian returns. Meeting the old man again, he is shocked to see that the tree has grown and it is covered in figs. The old man’s prophecy of gifts for future generations has come true.

Recreating one of the Midrash’s most beautiful tales, A Basket of Figs teaches the importance of caring for the environment and consideration for our fellow human beings. Ori Alon’s enchanting storytelling and Menahem Halberstadt’s stunning illustrations bring this wise fable to life on the page, to inspire and delight young readers.

About The Author

Ori Elon is an award-winning Israeli filmmaker and writer. He is the author of The Invisible Show (2008) which won the Israeli Ministry of Culture Best Novel award. He has written several children's books including King Gogle (2010) and In the Z’akrobat (2015). He is the co-creator and writer of the critically acclaimed television drama Shtisel which won 17 Israeli Academy Awards (including Best Script for Drama) and was one of the writers of the drama series Srugim.

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 works as an illustrator with a number of publishing houses in Israel. He lives in Israel with his wife and four children.

His other books for Green Bean include A Basket Full of Figs, In the Market of Zakrobat, and The Donkey and the Garden.


"Perfect for Earth Day and every day."

- Kirkus Reviews

Elon’s carefully chosen words convey the message as persuasively as the Halberstadt’s pictures...
The delicate lines and subtle earth tones of Halberstadt’s pictures invite caregivers and children to
read this book together.

- Imaginary Elevators

A lovely addition to the Tu B’Shevat bookshelf that will pair nicely with Honi's Circle of Trees by Phillis Gershator (JPS, 1994), but that can also be enjoyed year-round to illustrate the mitzvah (good deed) of caring for the environment and the Jewish values of generosity and optimism.

- Rachel Kamin, AJL News and Reviews.

A Basket Full of Figs, retold from the Midrash but in tune with our times, is written by Ori Elon and translated by Gilah Kahn-Hoffman, with illustrations full of character and charm by Menahem Halberstadt. Elon is the author of TV series Shtisel, while Halberstadt produced some of the pictures attributed on-screen to Akiva, its artist protagonist.

- The Jewish Chronicle

“Who knew the co-creator of the TV show “Shtisel” wrote a children’s book? Ori Elon recreates the beautiful Midrashic tale about the importance of caring for each other along with caring for the environment as an old man plants a fig tree that he may never live to see bear fruit.”

- Jewish Journal