New Books for Jewish Children

MORSE, NAOMI S.

New Books for Jewish Children Jewish children's literature has come of age. Books of Jewish interest are now firmly established in the mainstream of American publishing. No longer flimsy, poorly...

...They never dreamed, when the train pulled in, that they were arriving in a killing center...
...Throughout, the author stresses how unthinkable the evils or the Holocaust were for most people: "The sign over the entrance at Auschwitz further convinced them...
...CHILD WITH ADULT Grind the eggplant, fried and raw onions, and eggs in a food grinder or processor until they are the consistency of chopped liver CHILD Add as much salt and pepper as you like Refrigerate...
...ADULT Place the eggplant on a foil-lined baking sheet in a 450° oven and cook about 20 minutes, or until soft Remove from oven, cool, and peel off the skin ADULT Saute half the minced onion in margarine, turning occasionally with a fork...
...Black-and-while photographs portray the warm relationship between the child and her grandfather...
...Honest, reassuring and positive, this is everyihing that a young child needs in a book...
...Young children make natural cooks They like to mix, pour, chop, manipulate, smell and taste Cooking together is an opportunity to teach much more than cooking...
...It's ihe Nazis who should be ashamed...
...The heavy lone is somewhat relieved by the last chapter which recounts the efforts, however small and ineffective, of individuals and governments lo help Jews...
...it would not be true to its subject...
...This is a heautifully written and designed history of Jerusalem for children...
...This gives them the encouragement that all of us need to persevere despite the tragedy of the Holocaust...
...The thought was unimaginable...
...His expressive and colorful paintings of the shtetl give the book life and immediacy...
...Three thousand years have passed, and still Jerusalem shines...
...It is a distant and dispassionate perspective, that of a spectator and not a participant...
...Gittel, the adventuresome heroine of this story, is an eight-year-old charmer with a mind of her own...
...Though the author's writing is economical, graceful and poetic, hers is not a Jewish view of Jerusalem...
...You didn't do anything wrong...
...So begins Barbara's Cohen's retelling of I.L...
...He is Rachamim...
...No doubt it was the author's and publisher's intention to direct this book to general audiences and this has been very successfully realized...
...It stands as a gentle companion to last year's line picture book about the Holocaust, 7~he Children We Remember (Greenwillow, 1986) by Chana Abclls...
...In 1984 there was an historic airlift of Ethiopian Jews to Israel...
...appeal...
...Not for children only, this is an excellent book to add to the library of any family that likes to tell stories and read aloud to one another Professional storyteller Peninnah Schram has done a scholarly job of gathering these stories and giving background information about each one...
...The typeface is elegant and perfectly placed...
...As the wave of talented Jewish writers transformed the face of American literature earlier in the century, so has American children's literature been enriched and changed by the infusion of creative fiction and non-fiction for Jewish audiences...
...Useful directions for lighting the menorah...
...The greatest healing, the author states, came from the creation of ajewish state...
...Jerusalem, Shining Still by Karla Kuskin illustrated by David Frampton Harper & Row, 1987, 27 pp, $1295...
...On the last page of the book the symbols of Judaism, Islam and Christianity are shown as celestial bodies, suspended and balanced above the city, accurately capturing the author's universal perspective...
...In this case the strength comes from a child...
...The title story recounts the efforts of the Chelemites to capture the moon in a barrel...
...These brief, rhythmic Bible stories have been popular since they were first published in 1955 Now they have been rewritten in a more contemporary style and illustrated with humorous drawings Volume I was reissued last year...
...This is a readable and discussable book that will appeal to children from varied backgrounds...
...Reluctantly, he tells her what happened to him and his family in the Holocausl...
...NAOMI S. MORSE The Christmas Revolution by Barbara Cohen illustrated by Diane DeGroat Lothrop, Lee & Shepard 1987 161 pp,$1195 Ages 8-12 How does a Jewish child feel when Christmas is celebrated in her public school...
...Many children blame Simeon, the only Orthodox Jew in the school Emily and her sister work to solve the mystery Barbara Cohen has written a light and entertaining story that explores the pressures of public Christmas observance Each of the Jewish children in the class reacts individually and comes to a different accommodation with the problem But the problem does not go away Whether their schools permit Chnstmas celebration or not, being Jewish in a Christian environment is an ongoing concern for children...
...The author is attracted to the warmth, closeness and loyalty that characterize Israeli relationships, compared to the more distant and careful connections he knows in America This is a thoughtful book that contrasts the life of teenagers in two societies...
...There are many books of Jewish stories, but this one sets a new standard for interest and usefulness...
...The book is wrell researched, clearly wriitcn and slowly paced, as is appropriate for its audience...
...SI 0.95 cloth Ages 4-9...
...The scene of him hiding under the rabbi's bed is humorous and luminous This is a book well worth adding to the family's library...
...He condenses the history of the Nazis and their evil into a few short pages, tellingjust enough to answer the question at the level a child can absorb...
...495 piper...
...In this ambitious work, the author attempts to trace the roots of anti-Semitism, to tell about the rise of Hitler and to dcscril>e lile in Europe during the nightmare years...
...So naturally, when three darling baby goats are born she rings the bell, and is scolded again Then Gittel finds a treasure map that leads her to the village's missing Torah...
...The illustrations are by Anatoly Ivanov, a recent Soviet immigrant to the United States...
...The story speaks humorously about what is and is not important Illustrator Susan Martz has enlivened the book with fifteen full-page drawings, full of energy and fun...
...Ages 5-10...
...To Be Seventeen in Israel: Through the Eyes of an American Teenager by Josh Clayton-Felt illustrated with photographs by the author and from the Israel Ministry of Tourism Franklin Watts, 1987 93 pp, $1190 Ages 13 and up...
...If it did not...
...By writing about his problems as well as his triumphs she recreates a believable human being Photographs of Ben-Yehuda, his family, and scenes and personalities of early Palestine add visual interest to this excellent biography N«vmIvJ Released inV&perixxcK Let's Steal the Moon: Jewish Tales, Ancient and Recent retold by Blanch Serwer-Bernstein illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman Shapolsky Publishers, 1987 85 pp, $695 Ages 6 and up Eleven funny and clever stones from Jewish folklore have been artfully retold and illustrated here...
...Until Milton Meltzer wrote his masterly AVm to Forget (Harper & Rowj in 1976, there were no history books about the Holocaust for young readers...
...But there is nothing dry about this collection Each story is a real story...
...Fresh and unsophisticated, this is a beautifully rendered account of the most recent ingathering...
...Not every book has to be a main course...
...This book is illustrated with David Frampton's handsome and lively woodcuts...
...What is life like for an Israeli teenager' Josh Clayton-Felt, himself a seventeen-year-old American, visited Israel and lived with a family there to gather material for this book...
...book is illustrated with line drawings and homey photographs of children cooking...
...S225...
...Her previous books, The Carp in the Bathtub (Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1972) and Molly's Pilgrim (Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1983) are modern classics...
...He captures perfectly the Litvak's doubting smirk...
...Even Higher by Barbara Cohen, retold from the story by I.L Peretz illustrated by Anatoly Ivanov Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1987 27 pp, $13 Ages 5 and up ' 'Some people don't believe what they're told...
...Emily's twin sister does not join the revolution In fact, she is thrilled to be asked to sing a solo in the Christmas concert And a boy named Jake joins the revolution simply because he does not like to smg...
...they believe only what they see...
...King David would be proud," the book concludes...
...She tells how the Litvak hid himself under the rabbi's bed so as to see where it was that the rabbi really went And of course what he sees as he follows the rabbi to the forest and into the tiny hut on the poorest street turns him into one of the rabbi's most faithful followers Cohen's retelling makes the story appealing and accessible to children age five and up...
...Expressive black-and-white drawings by Alemu Eshetie, a young Ethiopian artist living in Israel, enliven and inform the text...
...Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving...
...Since this material is hard to absorb in large doses, the chapters arc fairly short...
...Finally, she turns to her grandfather, and with childlike perception tells him, "You shouldn't be ashamed to let people see your number...
...ll is a challenging task to find the words thai icll ihis story to a young child...
...The Jerusalem of this book endures the vicissitudes of history with stoic equanimity...
...After his grandfather lells her what happened, they sit together Tor a long while, [hinking about what has been said...
...This one is a nice snack...
...Josh Clayton-Felt's admiration for the way of life he finds is Israel is made clear He is currently a college fresh- -man in the United States who is concerned with reconciling his attachments to both countries...
...Both volumes are now available in an attractive paperback format The Children's Jewish Holiday Kitchen by Joan Nathan illustrated with line drawings and photographs Schocken Books, 1987 121 pp, $1095 paper ' Ages 4-10...
...S795 Ages 6-8...
...Vegetarian Chopped Liver Just after the state of Israel was created, Israelis had little food to eat Eggplant became a food that took on many forms...
...This would make a good book for young readers to read themselves Jewish Stories One Generation Tells Another retold by Penmnah Schram with drawings by Jacqueline Kahane Jason Aronson Inc, 1987 497 pp, $30 All ages...
...Colorful illustrations, full of action and spirit, show the daily life of the Hebrews in Judea, the attack by Antiochus and the battle between his soldiers and the Maccabees...
...Children need to sec that they too can play a part in likurt oiartu the healing or the world...
...Here are some important children's books of the past year...
...Bible Stories for Little Children, Volume II by Bette R Hollender illustrated by Lee Bearson Union of American Hebrew Congregations, 1987 75 pp,$6 Ages 3-6...
...It offers a chance to reinforce a child's Jewish heritage, which is closely bound up with food customs Joan Nathan's recipes go beyond food They are warm prescriptions for building close family ties and traditional Jewish values 'fli The books featured in this article may be ordered through MOMENT, 3000 Connecticut Ave...
...It will bear many readings It is a worthy offspring, but not a replacement, for Peretz's original story, more often called "If Not Higher," which is found in many Yiddish story collections...
...He tells how the Sabbath and holidays were celebrated for centuries in an inhospitable country...
...This book will provide material and inspiration for a revival of Jewish storytelling...
...There is a crisis when the school Christmas tree is knocked over...
...Open it up and start reading...
...Other stones are about Hillel, King Solomon and the Golem of Prague Israeli folk-lorist Dov Noy has written a foreword to this attractive paperback edition of the book, first published in 1970, that has become a classic...
...She looks and acts like a Jewish Pippi Longstocking as she runs around getting into trouble...
...The book makes painful reading...
...For Emily Berg, fourth grader at the small-town Watch Mountain School, it is an uncomfortable time She begins to feel funny as the little Santa-Clauses, the tree and the wreath appear When her teacher asks the children to draw a picture of what they want for Christmas, Simeon Goldfarb stands up and says, "I don't want anything for Christmas I don't celebrate Christmas...
...This is a moving story of the miraculous endurance of a group of isolated Jews and of their return to Zion "on eagles' wings...
...When she rings the town bell to announce her new hairdo, she is roundly scolded and told that the bell may be rung only for important matters, matters of life and death...
...Both appear dull and undistinguished and do liitle lo dignify or dramatize the material...
...We are said to be experiencing a renaissance of storytelling and reading aloud in the United States...
...1987.30 pp...
...The story of Beta Esrael, as Jews of Ethiopia call themselves, is told here by a boy named Rachamim...
...their golden tones gleam from the white pages...
...The Number on My Grandfather's Arm by David A. Adler illustrated with photographs by Rose Eichertbaum and from Yad Vashem Union ol American Hebrew Congregations Press, 1987 32 pp...
...Festival of Lights: The Story of Hanukkah by Maida Silverman illustrated by Carolyn S. Ewing Simon & Schuster...
...The result is an engaging look at the issues that make a difference in a young person's life What are family relationships like...
...It is illustrated with some of the less disturbing photographs from Yad Vashem that show ghetto life under the Nazis and in the camps...
...How could they...
...Joan Nathan has written a children's cookbook that reflects the way young children really like to cookówith an adult companion She has presented Jewish holiday recipes from various cultures, simplified them and divided the steps involved between the child and adult cooks...
...she asks...
...A huge volume containing 65 sto-nes,this book looks imposing But it is also inviting...
...it has a beginning, a middle and an end...
...Grandfather always wore a long-slccvcd shin, but one nighi when he rolls up his sleeves to wash the dishes, his grand aughier notices ihe number on his arm...
...Ages 5 and up...
...Ages 4-& An attractive cover painting of children lighting the menomh graces this serviceable paperback retelling of the Cha-nukah story...
...You will find bedtime and rainy-day entertainment for a long time to come This would also be welcome in any group or school setting...
...The author has successfully brought history alive...
...1987 32 pp, S795...
...Tasks such as ' 'smear chicken with honey" or "hit the dough with your very clean fist" are reserved for children, while the adult does such things as preheating the oven, boiling water or slicing meat...
...More traditional dishes such as chicken soup, matzah balls and pot roast look familiar and tempting Each recipe is well organized, with the list of ingredients and equipment needed preceding the directions...
...Cm el and the Bell by Roberta Goldshlag Cooks illustrated by Susan Martz...
...Finally, they were flown to Israel...
...Fried, it sometimes tasted like the meat children could not get Grated, it was used in cakes But most often it was and still is roasted and turned into dips This vegetarian chopped liver tasted like chopped liver, which in our grandparents' home in Poland was always part of the Friday-night meal, eaten after the gefilte fish (Makes 2 cups) INGREDIENTS 1 medium eggplant 1 medium onion, minced 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) pareve margarine or butter 2 hard-boiled eggs Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste EQUIPMENT Measuring spoons Forks Foil-lined baking sheet Knife Small frying pan Food grinder or processor CHILD Pierce the eggplant with a fork...
...Karla Kuskin, a seasoned author of many successful children's books, has effectively condensed 4,000 years of Jerusalem's history...
...It shows that strength and love can prevail...
...Peretz's famous story...
...Most of the photographs were taken by the author and have a personal quality that adds rather than detracts...
...What's that...
...Most of her stories are only a few pages long, so they can easily be remembered and retold by the reader...
...Though brief, the book has a lot of...
...The book is well indexed and has a valuable appendix of materials about the Holocaust...
...N.W, Suite 300, Washington, DC, 20008...
...It read: Arbeit \farht FretóWork Makes a Person Free...
...Jewish readers may feel differently...
...J14.95...
...The text is punctuated with the refrain, "When times are bad they will gel better...
...What we have here is not the Jerusalem that Jews passionately invoke at the conclusion of the stder, not the memory of Jerusalem that caps the marriage ceremony, not the Jerusalem of our artists and poets...
...In simple and direct language, he describes family and village life in the Gondar region of Africa...
...A Nightmare in History by Miriam Chaikin illustrated with photographs and prints Clarion Books, 1987...
...I predict an enthusiastic audience of teens and young adults for this book...
...making a dmdtl and playing the dreid/l game, arc appended here as well as the words and music for "Ma'oz Tzur...
...Eliezer Ben-Yehuda: The Father of Modern Hebrew by Malka Drucker illustrated with photographs EP Dutton, 1987 75 pp,$1395 Ages 10 and up Today, we take the use of modern Hebrew for granted But it was not always so...
...Add $1.00 to the cost of each book for shipping and handling...
...Should she ring the bell...
...Listen and you will hear a story that goes right to the heart...
...Their fright at the airplane ride, their amazement at seeing while Jews and hearing Hebrew spoken, are related with charm...
...1987,23 pp...
...It was crazy, but it worked The author tells a fascinating story of Ben-Yehuda's life and ideas She stresses the important role of his wife Hemda as collaborator m the task of publishing the first Hebrew dictionary...
...No longer flimsy, poorly printed or hard to find, these high-quality books are widely available from a large array of first-rate publishers...
...You read or listen, not to be educated, but to find out what happens...
...Despite its dark subject, this is an ultimately reassuring book...
...There is a detached, fatalistic quality to this view...
...A handsome brown-skinned boy gazes at us from the cover of this book...
...When times are good they will get worse...
...She expresses Jewish concepts and values so that children can understand them...
...She introduces the doubting Litvak who would not believe that the rabbi of Nemerov rose up to heaven before Rosh Hashana...
...Schram, who knows what makes stories tellable, uses informal language...
...Il is unfortunate that the importance or the subject is not reflected in ihe book's layout or cover design...
...Visually, this is an exceptional piece of bookmaking...
...It is hard to believe that less than 100 years ago, the Hebrew spoken today did not exist It took the singleminded efforts of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda to convince people to speak a language that had not been spoken for 2,000 years...
...It had never been thought before...
...Famine was the catalyst that started Beta Esrael on their journey home, an arduous and dangerous one, which many did not survive...
...Ben-Yehuda used his own family as guinea pigs in his grand Hebrew experiment He made unreasonable demands on his wife so that their son would be the first child to speak Hebrew m 2,000 years...
...Ages 10 and up...
...David Adler, ihe author of ihis and many other excellent children's books, does ii admirably...
...It has an attractive jacket by popular illustrator Diane DeGroat Young readers from eight to twelve should enjoy The Chnstmas Revolution My Nairn is Rachambn by Jonathan P. Kendall illustrated by Alemu Eshetie Union of American Hebrew Congregations Press...
...Her book cover is very inviting...
...144 pp...
...Written in a breezy and frank conversational tone, the book tells about his feelings on living with Israelis...
...The author offers brief comments on the history of the recipe and how the holiday is celebrated in her own family Directions for simple craft projects that decorate the table and enhance the celebration are given as well Kashrut is discussed at the outset The book is conveniently bound with a spiral so that it lies flat when open The print is large enough for children to read, and the From The Children's Jewish Holiday Kitchen...
...Emily is embarrassed by Simeon's bald declaration, but she also shares his feelings Suddenly the words of the carol ' 'O Holy Night" begin to have meaning and Emily realizes that she cannot, in good conscience, smg them And so Emily joins Simeon in the library when the class sings carols, and they begin the Chnstmas revolution This revolution is not a battle with a victor, or even with a firm conclusion What the author has done is to show the range of reactions that Jewish children have to Christmas in school...
...Each page is attractively bordered in blue and has large, legible print...
...Beginning with the Sabbath, the author offers recipes and menus for each holiday in the yearly cycleófrom Rosh Hashana to Shavuot The book includes directions for children's cholent, cheese and spinach borekas (made with the fillo dough that children enjoy handling), sufgamyot (Israeli jelly doughnuts), bagels and Golda Meir's chocolate chip cookies...
...What about college, marriage, love, sex, money, the army and work...
...The ebb and llow of history is seen through secular eyes...
...Anecdotes and direct quotes from Israeli teens abound...
...A .Xighlmare in History is the first to be written since Meltzer's book, U covers much the same subject matter for a younger audience This subject is so vast, so important and so incomprehensible that there surely is room and need for more than one treatment...
...Kir-Ben Cones...
...This exactly right response comforts her grandfather and the reader...
...They traveled across Africa by foot and lived for many months in Sudanese refugee camps, where 1,200 of them died from hunger and disease...

Vol. 12 • December 1987 • No. 9


 
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