Home  \  Authors  \  Authors  \  Yona Tepper  \ 

Mother’s Little Perfume Bottle

Yona Tepper
AGE: 12 up

Few children's books about death in the family match the sensitivity of this story. In a quiet moving voice, 11-year-old Shiri tells how her small family is torn by her mother's mysterious illness (which seems to be cancer). When her mother is taken from the kibbutz to a hospital in Jerusalem, Shiri is overwhelmed by loneliness and worry. She decides to put on a play.
She organizes a group of younger children, directs rehearsals, organizes the choreography and makes the sets and costumes. As her mother's health worsens, she focuses on the play – aptly called "The Princess and the Wonder Cure." In it, a knight cures the princess's sadness by bringing her a magic potion in a flask. The flask is mother's little perfume bottle, which comes to symbolize Shiri's longing for her mother.
The play is a success, but Shiri's mother dies. Shiri suffers severe emotional trauma and her recovery is slow. Her connection with the younger children unravels and she is angry with her father for keeping her away during the illness. In the end, however, Shiri begins to view the future hopefully.

Illustrations: Avner Katz

Tepper Mother's Little Perfume Bottle
Title Mother’s Little Perfume Bottle
Author’s Last Name Tepper
Author's First Name Yona
Genre youth
Publisher (Hebrew) Hakibbutz Hameuchad
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 1986
No. Pages 142 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Bakbuk Ha-Bosem Shel Ima
Representation Represented by ITHL


Congratulations to Zeruya Shalev and Shifra Horn for receiving the 2017 Adei Wizo Prize.

Ayelet Gundar-Goshen's "Waking Lions" is longlisted for the 2018 International Dublin Literary Award
Ayelet Gundar-Goshen's "Waking Lions" is longlisted for the 2018 International Dublin Literary Award! The books on the longlist are selected by 400 libraries worldwide. Titles are nominated on the basis of ‘high literary merit’ as determined by the nominating library.
The second edition of the Letters of Israel festival will take place in Paris from September 8 to 18, 2017
After the success of its first edition, the Lettres d'Israël festival is gaining momentum, with an enriched program: meetings, conversations, readings , Theater, major authors and discoveries. Zeruya Shalev, Orly Castel-bloom, Ayelet Gundar-Goshen, Iris Argaman, and many more will participate. Click here for the full program:
Call for application: Artists in Residence Programme in Austria. Please note the deadline: September 18th, 2017.
In co-operation with KulturKontakt Austria, the Austrian Federal Chancellery makes available 50 residencies to visual artists / art photographers / composers / video and media artists / writers / literary translators and arts and cultural educators in Vienna and Salzburg for the year 2018. For more details:
Yizhak Mayer: "Meet the Author" Event
Ambassador Yizhak Mayer, author of the moving book “Silent Letter” will hold a “meet the author” event in Netanya. For further info about the event: And for more details about the title click here:
ITHL director on Grossman's win
"Grossman winning is not only his own achievement, but the achievement of the Hebrew literature as a whole", - Nilli Cohen on the first Hebrew author to receive Man Booker International Prize. Click here for the full article in Hebrew.
Chana Bloch dies at 77
Chana Bloch, a revered poet and translator from Hebrew and Yiddish, has sadly passed away earlier this month. Among her many remarkable achievements is the wonderful translation of a collection of poems by Dahlia Ravikovitch​ (W. W. Norton & Company). Chana will be greatly missed.
Yitzchak Mayer's personal website goes live
English edition of Yitzchak Mayer's amazing "Silent Letter" is about to come out with Mosaic Press. Learn more about the author's incredible life story on his brand new website.
Dayan on feminism and writing
Following the release of "Transitions" in English, Yael Dayan talks to Lilith Magazine about her past aspirations and present pursuits. Click here to read the full interview.
Gundar-Goshen's Op-Ed for Time
To mark the US publication of "Waking Lions" Ayelet Gundar-Goshen talks about the refugee crisis, internal walls and people behind them in the op-ed for Time. Click here to read the article.
MHL - New webzine starting soon!