Editorial Review

Kirkus Reviews

Cover: Zishe the Strongman

Zishe, a poor Polish Jew and a blacksmith’s son, displayed unusual strength from the time he was three years old. Able to lift heavy weights, bend steel bars and break metal chains, Zishe was soon recruited by a variety of circuses to perform throughout Europe and later the United States as the Strongman. A highlight of his career occurred in 1923 in New York City, when he was challenged as the Iron King to haul ten men in a wagon down Fifth Avenue by a single leather strap held in his teeth. Zishe, a true figure of circus history, born Siegmund Breitbart in Lodz, Poland, in 1883, had a gentle, caring side as well. He sought out the Jewish community in each town he performed in and played his cello for the hospitalized. Soft, earth-toned crayon drawings of a Samson-like figure energize this real-life superman story told, appropriately, with a bit of a big-top flair and a healthy sense of ethnic pride. (author’s note) (Picture book/biography. 4-6)

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Zishe the Strongman
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