Zhen Yu and the Snake

by Erica Lyons
Illustrated by Renia Metallinou
Kar-Ben/ Lerner
5 September 2023

Long ago in China, a girl named Zhen Yu wanders away from her father at a busy market. A mysterious fortune teller helps Zhenu’s father find her, but also warns him that one day his daughter will be bitten by a snake on her wedding night. Years later, as Zhen Yu is dressing for her wedding, a knock comes on the door. Although it is her wedding day, she is not too busy to show kindness to a stranger. Based on the Talmudic tale of Rabbi Akiva’s daughter and the snake.

Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Bookshop.org, and more.

From Kirkus

“A novel take on a traditional tale.”

From the Asian Review of Books

“One doesn’t need to be well-versed in the Talmud or know anything about Judaism for that matter to understand and enjoy this story, a gripping tale that is enhanced with lively illustrations from Metallinou. Together the story and images make for a remarkable and unique picture book.”

From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) 

“A Talmudic tale gets a 12th-century Chinese twist in children’s book aimed at diverse Jewish readers”

For educators and parents (really for kids) I have free Zhen Yu and the Snake worksheets too.