Joseph and Koza or The Sacrifice to Vistula by Isaac Bashevis Singer - First Edition Children's Books - Vintage Child Book, Judaica, 1970s


First edition of Joseph and Koza or The Sacrifice to the Vistula by Isaac Bashevis Singer. A stranger from Jerusalem brings light to a Polish king whose people still practice the old, brutal ways, and saves his daughter from a witch's vision that condemns her to being sacrificed in the river Vistula.

Written by Isaac Bashevis Singer. Illustrated by Symeon Shimin. 1970, stated first edition. Farrar, Straus & Giroux.

Inspired by folk tales from his home country of Poland, Singer tells the story of Wilk, the ruler of the largest tribe in Poland, and his adoption of the God of the Jews.

Wilk rules over Mazovia on the river Vistula with his wife Wilkova and their daughter Koza. The most influential presence in their world is the witch Zla, follower of the demon Baba Yaga. Once a year at the beginning of summer, based on her visions, she selects the most beautiful girl of Mazovia to be sacrificed to the Vistula, by being drowned in the river, to ensure the tribe's crops and survival. To Wilk and Wilkova's profound sorrow, Zla selects Koza to be sacrificed next. Heartbroken, they are nonetheless dutifully resigned to her fate, as is Kosa.

In the midst of the preparations for this barbaric summer ritual, a goldsmith from Jerusalem arrives by way of Krakow with the idea of offering to make Wilk a fabulous crown, as he did for the King of Krakow. On hearing of Mazovia's continued tradition of ritual sacrifice, Joseph intervenes - the God of Israel has prohibited human sacrifice! - and challenges Zla to prove her powers. She fails and Wilk begins to question his own beliefs.

Joseph convinces Wilk to postpone the sacrifice for two months, enough time to wait out Zla's predictions that stopping the sacrifice will result in disaster. If her predictions come true, Joseph will sacrifice himself along with Koza. If they don't, Wilk will abandon the old ways. At the end of the test Zla's predictions come to nothing. Joseph and Koza marry and return to Jerusalem.

Isaac Bashevis Singer (1902 - 1991) was one of the most important writers of the 20th C. He received the National Book Award for children's literature in 1970 and seven years later was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

"A prolific writer, the main theme of Singer's works is the clash between tradition and renewal--preservation versus regeneration--that serves as a backdrop to stories delving deeply into the grip of human passions that unleash the destructive, yet constructive, force of the emotions."

Learn more about Singer's work at

Condition*: Fine/Near Fine. The dust jacket is bumped at the head and tail of the spine.

* Based on guidelines of the Independent Online Booksellers' Association.
Visit for more first edition children's books.

Shipping & Policies

Shipping from United States

Processing time

1-3 business days

Estimated shipping times

  • North America : 1 - 3 business days
  • Europe : 1 - 3 business days
  • Australia, New Zealand and Oceania : 1 - 3 business days
  • Asia Pacific : 1 - 3 business days
  • Latin America and the Caribbean : 1 - 3 business days
  • North Africa and the Middle East : 1 - 3 business days
  • Sub-Saharan Africa : 1 - 3 business days

I'll do my best to meet these shipping estimates, but can't guarantee them. Actual delivery time will depend on the shipping method you choose.

Customs and import taxes

Buyers are responsible for any customs and import taxes that may apply. I'm not responsible for delays due to customs.

Payment Options

Secure options
  • Accepts Etsy gift cards

Returns & Exchanges

I gladly accept returns and exchanges

Just contact me within: 7 days of delivery

Ship items back to me within: 14 days of delivery

I don't accept cancellations

But please contact me if you have any problems with your order.

Conditions of return

Buyers are responsible for return shipping costs. If the item is not returned in its original condition, the buyer is responsible for any loss in value.

Privacy policy

"We respect your privacy..." What does it mean to you as a valued customer of The Charmed Bookshop?

* I will not share your personal information acquired in the process of communicating with you or fulfilling your order with third parties.
* I do not maintain a separate customer list outside of Etsy for marketing or other purposes.
* I will contact you only through Etsy and only to answer your questions or communicate information about your order unless you provide explicit permission to contact you via personal email or phone number.


Information I collect about you, what I do with it, and how long I keep it:

1. Etsy hosts our shop and an Etsy-powered Pattern Website - - and facilitates purchases, payments, and shipping. When you order an item from The Charmed Bookshop, Etsy collects your full name, physical/billing address, phone number/s, email address, and payment information. In turn, I acquire your full name, mailing address, and email address in order to fulfill your order. I print a hard copy of your order receipt and a mailing label but I do not use this information for any other purpose or share it with third parties.

2. Etsy retains your payment information, such as PayPal, credit card, or other payment method. I do not have access to this information nor will I ask for it.

3. Etsy collects visitor data which it shares with its sellers. I supplement this information with additional data collected by Google Analytics. This information helps me identify potential problems, manage backend processes, and develop content. However, the data that I view is anonymous and does not contain personal information.

Please review your browser's privacy settings for additional privacy support. Your browser is the program you use to surf the Web, e.g. Chrome, Safari, Edge/Internet Explorer, Firefox.

4. I will keep customer information as required by U.S. federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.


Please contact Etsy to file a Subject Access Request (SAR) and receive a copy of your personal information or to correct information they may have about you.

To protect the privacy and identities of customers of The Charmed Bookshop, I will forward all Subject Access Requests that I receive to Etsy absent any ability to confirm the requester's identity or the legitimacy of the request.

*GDPR compliance is a courtesy to EU customers and should not be construed to supersede the laws of the government of the United States or local and state jurisdictions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Gift wrapping and packaging

I wrap every book with care and ship it in a padded mailing envelope or sturdy box. If you're purchasing a gift, please advise when ordering and include a gift message.

Care instructions

1. I lightly clean books, as needed, but I don't attempt repairs or restoration. If you'd like a book restored, you'll find trustworthy, qualified experts in your area through libraries or museums.

I also recommend the following care instructions.

American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works -

2. Photos are cropped and resized to Etsy guidelines but are otherwise unedited. Please contact me if you'd like additional photos of book details.

3. Descriptions of condition are based on guidelines from the Independent Online Booksellers' Association.

Order processing time

I'll process and ship your purchase in 1 - 3 business days, and I'll ship anywhere in the world via any mail or delivery service that Etsy offers. (Please refer to the Shipping section for average shipping turn-around times by region.) If I encounter any delays in processing your order, I will advise you in advance.

Legal imprint