About the Book

"An enjoyable, rollicking read. Fun by the light of the moon—or anytime." —Kirkus Reviews

Oy, Chelm. Long known as home to the “wisest” people in Yiddish folklore. But what is Chelm like today? What if the kids were more clever than the rest of the townsfolk?

When the misguided adults of modern-day Chelm believe the moon has plunged into the lake, it’s up to the Schlemiel siblings to convince the grown-ups that their fears of a fallen moon are unfounded. Join Sarah and Sam in this hilarious twist on a classic Yiddish folktale as they use teamwork, innovation and patience to save the day...and night!

Here is a book that will expand young readers’ knowledge of Jewish culture beyond holidays, history, and the Holocaust.


"Children will grin while hearing or reading this story because in this one the kids are so much smarter than the grown-ups." —San Diego Jewish World

"A multicultural winner." —Foreword Reviews

Awards and Press

J.S. Puller

author of Captain Superlative and The Lost Things Club

A funny, sassy take on folklore.

Noah Barfield

Crescent School District (WA)

The Schlemiel Kids Save The Moon is destined to become an instant classic with families everywhere.

Melody Sky Weaver

Library Director

A delightful story with enchanting illustrations.

George Shannon

award-winning author of more than 40 picture books including One Family

This vibrant retelling of a classic Jewish/Yiddish folktale proves everything old can be new again!

Misha Stone


This is a delightful retelling of the Yiddish story of the foolish people in Chelm. With gorgeous illustrations and humor, kids will love seeing themselves as (sometimes) being wiser than their elders!

Dawn Rutherford

Library Regional Manager

A delightful romp, celebrating the wisdom of children in a world of adult tomfoolery.

Ericka Brunson-Rochette

Youth Librarian

This humorous story reminds readers that sometimes it takes the creativity and reason of a child to solve the most curious of problems.

Reb Zann Jacobrown

Pardess Jewish Community and illustrator of Palace of Pearls: The Stories of Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav

Audrey Barbakoff's wonderful retelling of a classic Jewish story is a gift to children and their adults. […] Who knew that saving the moon could be such a delight from tip to toe!

Sara T. Behrman

former librarian and children’s author of The Sea Hides a Seahorse

A humorous story with lovely illustrations depicting the diverse inhabitants of Chelm.

Meet the Author

Audrey Barbakoff is a librarian, educator, and entrepreneur. She holds a doctor of education and a master of library and information science. As a Jewish mother, she is passionate about sharing the vibrancy of Jewish humor, languages, and stories with the next generation. Audrey lives with her husband, two children, and chickens on an island in Puget Sound. Though she has written several professional development books for librarians, this is her debut picture book.

Meet the Illustrator

Rotem Teplow is an Israeli illustrator who lives with her husband and two sons in a small village in Israel, by the dead sea. She loves yoga, reading books, and illustrating beautiful scenery. She graduated from Shenkar College of Design and currently illustrates for newspapers and children books worldwide.