Home  \  Authors  \  Authors  \  Etgar Keret  \ 

Breaking the Pig

Etgar Keret

AGE: 6 up

A special illustrated edition of Etgar Keret's popular story about an endearing young boy and a friendship he strikes with a piggy bank. This is how it begins:

"Dad wouldn't buy me a Bart Simpson doll. Mom really wanted to, but Dad wouldn't, he said I was spoiled.
'Why should we?' he said to Mom. 'Why should we buy it for him? He just snaps his fingers and you jump to attention.' Dad said I had no respect for money and that if I didn't learn when I was little when was I going to learn? Kids who get Bart Simpson dolls at the drop of a hat turn into punks who steal from convenience stores, cause they wind up thinking they can have whatever they want, just like that. So instead of a Bart doll he bought me an ugly porcelain pig with a slot in its back.

Every morning now I'm supposed to drink a cup of hot cocoa, even though I hate it. With the skin it's one shekel, without the skin it's half a shekel, and if I throw up right after I drink it, I don't get anything.
I drop the coins into the slot in the pig's back, and then, when you shake him you can hear them jingle.
  Soon as the pig is so full of coins that it doesn't jingle when you shake it, I get a Bart-Simpson-on-a-skateboard doll. That's what Dad says, that way it's educational."

Illustrations: David Polonsky  

Translated from the Hebrew by Miriam Shlesinger

The illustrations are beautiful and thought provoking … Adapting the book and making it accessible to young children is to be welcomed, and is likely to contribute greatly to the shaping of the cultural taste of our children. 

President Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin

Breaking the Pig  is the story of an object in the best tradition of Hans Christian Andersen … a classical, heroic, optimistic tale … Breaking the Pig is a coming-of-age journey … It contains darkness and gloom, but also triumph and power … It has many layers.

Marit Ben Israel, Wordpress

A gift book, with stunning illustrations… Suitable as a gift for all admirers of Etgar Keret and for everyone who has ever loved something and understood that sometimes to love is to set free.
Meira Barnea Goldberg, Mako 


A heart-rending story … Grown youngsters and their parents will enjoy the story, and certainly also the superb illustrations.



Breaking the Pig is apparently one of Keret’s favorite stories, and it is considered a gem … The book’s outstanding design, as well as the quality of the printing and Polonsky’s works of illustration make this new edition of the story a great success … The characters are convincing, the story is moving, the drama is compelling.

Yotam Shwimmer, Ha-Pinkas

Title Breaking the Pig
Author’s Last Name Keret
Author's First Name Etgar
Language(s) Hebrew, German, Italian, Dutch, Polish, Spanish
Genre illustrated story book
Publisher (Hebrew) Zmora-Bitan
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 2015
No. Pages 28 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Lishbor Et Ha-Chazir


Italian: Milan, Feltrinelli, 2017

Dutch: Amsterdam, Podium, 2016

German: Zurich, Atrium, 2016
Mexico City, Sexto Piso, 2016

Turkish (Breaking the Pig & other stories): Istanbul, Siren, 2016
Polish: Warsaw, Wilga/GW Foksal, 2016 

Congratulations to Barabara Harshav for the 2018 PEN Medal for Translation!
The prize is given to a translator whose career has demonstrated a commitment to excellence through the body of their work. Barbara Harshav has been translating works from French, German, Hebrew and Yiddish for over twenty years and has currently published over forty books of translation. Among the many Hebrew authors she has translated: Yoram Kaniuk, Agnon, Yehudit Hendel, Yehuda Amichai and many more.
The Ministry of Culture and Sport announced the names of the winners of the Arik Einstein Veterans Artists Prize.
A prize of 50,000 NIS was given to each of the 21 artists who worked and are still working to promote Israeli culture in various fields -Music, dance, theater, plastic arts, cinema and literature. In the literature category the winners were Ronny Someck, Jacob Buchan and Shlomit Cohen-Assif. Also, Anat Masiach is among the recipient of the prize for debut literary works. Congratulations!
Congratulations to Ronit Matalon, the recipient of the 2017 Brenner prize for her book 'And the Bride Closed the Door". And, congratulations to Amir ziv, the recipent of the first ever Brenner prize for debut novels.
Ronit Matalon's book tells the story of Margie, a young bride, who shuts herself up in her mother's bedroom and declares that she won’t get married. Her family gathers at the locked door, not knowing what to do. Amir Ziv tells a story that begins as an apparently routine correspondence between a prying citizen, secretly in love with his neighbor, and a conscientious municipal clerk, and developes into an uncovering of a great underlying drama.
The fourth German-Hebrew/Hebrew-German translation workshop April 29 to May 5, 2018 Beit Ben-Yehuda, Jerusalem
After workshops in Berlin, Jerusalem and Straelen, the workshop will return to Jerusalem this spring. This workshop will focus on the participants translations. These are unfinished translations that have not yet been published. These will be sent to all participants. The workshop is open to 10 participants and is intended for literary translators with experience and publications. Workshop facilitators: Anne Birkenhauer and Gadi Goldberg Prerequisites: At least one published translation Duration: Sunday, April 29, 2018 until Saturday, May 5, 2018 Location: Beit Ben-Yehuda, 28 Ein Gedi St., 93383 Jerusalem Participation fee: Participation (Accommodation and meals) is free of charge. Travel / flight expenses will be refunded. For more details and for the documents required for submitting application: Anne Birkenhauer, and Gadi Goldberg,
Ayelet Gundar-Goshen's "Waking Lions" is one of the 100 notable books of 2017 of the "New York Times".

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.
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.
MHL - New webzine starting soon!