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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 

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