Book & Doll

The Jester Has Lost His Jingle and The Jester Has Lost His Jingle/El Bufón ha perdido su gracia

by David Saltzman

Author David Saltzman wanted The Jester to be there for all children going through challenging times, especially children with cancer. An art and English major, David wrote and illustated the award-winning Jester as his senior project at Yale while coping with Hodgkin's disease. He graduated with high honors in May 1989, but died not long after his graduation - on March 2, 1990, 11 days before his 23rd birthday.

A whimisical story in rhyme about laughter told through the colorful illustrated adventures of an optimistic Jester and his puppet pal Pharley. The determined duo search for laughter throughout the world after the king unceremoniously banishes them for not being funny one day. They eventually find laughter in an unexpected place - the heart of a little girl in the hospital. They happily return to the glum kingdom bringing color and laugher back with them. The Jester and Pharley reveal where laugher was hiding all the time - insde ourselves.

The captivating Spanish translation in rhyme by Natalia Aurrecoechea realizes the creative rhythm of the original English in the bilingual English/Spanish edition. The zingy translation makes it a delight for children learning Spanish and those learning English.

The original 64-page hardcover full-color book has reached the best-seller lists of the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today and Publishers Weekly. The self-empowerng message of the story - "When you're feeling lonely, or sad, or bad or blue, remember where laughter's hiding...It's hiding inside of YOU!" - is never lost on youngsters.

The Jester has inspired teachers to share numerous lesson ideas. Our educator manuals offer valuable tools to reinvigorate the learning atmosphere with fun, innovative, teacher-originated activities.


David Saltzman with author
-artist Maurice Sendak at Yale in 1986.



An Afterword by Maurice Sendak

Esteemed children’s book author-artist Maurice Sendak met David briefly in 1986, when David was a freshman at Yale. In a moving Afterword, the author-artist of Where the Wild Things Are, writes about David's Jester:

"Our lives briefly touched. But I remember him among all the eager, talented young people I've bumped into along the way. I remember the face - the enthusiasm - the intelligence and unaffected extraordinariness of David Saltzman. It is difficult to remember all the bright, promising youngsters. It is easy to remember David.

That he died before his 23rd birthday is a tragedy beyond words. That he managed through his harrowing ordeal to produce a picture book so brimming with promise and strength, so full of high spirits, sheer courage and humor is nothing short of a miracle. Even the rough patches that David the artist would surely have set to right had he been given the time become all the more precious for the wild light they shed on his urgent, exploding talent.

David was a natural craftsman and storyteller. His passionate picture book is issued out of a passionate heart.

David's Jester soars with life."


The Jester & Pharley Doll is a favorite of children everywhere because it is based on the lovable characters of The Jester Has Lost His Jingle.

The colorful award-winning two-in-one Jester & Pharley Doll immediately tells children that they have a friend who will help them find their smiles all by themselves, even on the most difficult days.

Children relate at once to the doll, for it carries the primary message of the story: that laughter is inside each of us.

The Jester & Pharley Doll was produced in accordance with David's wishes and in response to requests from children for their very own Jester & Pharley. Once more, it was kept all-in-the-family with the same loving care as The Jester Has Lost His Jingle. In fact, David's older brother Michael drew the faces of The Jester & Pharley for the doll.

The 21-inch fully bendable soft sculpture is recommended for children 3 and over.

The jingling Jester comes with his own detachable, jingling Pharley.

All proceeds from product purchases and contributions support The Jester & Pharley Phund's mission: To give children joy, laughter, the love of learning, and a way to live up to The Jester’s motto: “It’s up to us to make a difference. It’s up to us to care.”

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