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Posted August 11, 2006
Defining what's Jewish
This book is a wonderful one for kids, and contrary to the previous reviewer's opinion, all of the illustrations are, in my opinion, gloriously Jewish. I am an African-American Jewish female (yes, it's in the DNA), and while used to seeing the abysmal ignorance of those who don't know that there are many Jews of color, still get a bit peeved when I see that ignorance publicized. It is a little hodge-podge (which is why it didn't get 5 stars), but that's just an irritation to me because I'm older. Kids don't notice. This book was recently brought to my attention, and it's perfect for kids who need to see those who match their color AND their religion.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 14, 2006
Wonderful book reflects the diversity of the Jewish people
This wonderful guide to the Jewish holidays is filled with imaginative suggestions for home celebrations and is accompanied by illustrations that reflect the historic diversity of the Jewish people -- African, Asian, European, etc. Like the reviewer above, I grew up with the All 0f a Kind Family books and loved them. We're not all from Eastern Europe, however, and it's essential that books about the Jewish holidays convey the breadth of our experience and make Jewish children of all racial and ethnic backgrounds feel welcomed, honored and counted.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 21, 2003
Lack of clear audience ruins what could have been a good reference work
Ilene Cooper's attempt at explaining Jewish Holidays claims to be addressed at the Jewish family, however the work, itself, uses non-Jewish terminology coupled with an 'in-crowd' demeanor which would make this book confusing for non-Jews. At the same time, it is very difficult to ascertain for what age group this book is intended. Cooper generally writes for the younger chapter book reader (grades 2-4), and in some sections this book's simple and choppy sentences indicate that this may be meant for them as well, however I also saw some more advanced ideas that were never explained satisfactorily. Another aspect which I found frustrating was that each holiday's background information was clunkily arranged as if the author decided to throw everything she could find about a particular holiday in without rhyme nor reason. The illustrations, also, concerned me. They did not seem to be arranged with the text appropriately and some of them did not make a lot of sense (I did not understand why there was an overabundance of multicultural illustrations, given the topic. I was most perplexed by the drawings that depicted families that were both African-American AND Asian-American (and, of course, Jewish).) After reading this book, I found myself yearning for the effortless way Sydney Taylor explained Jewish holidays in the All-of-A-Kind Family series. Taylor was able to explain the holidays in such a way that Jews and non-Jews could appreciate along with a really good story. If you're looking for a good explanation of Jewish Holidays, I'd stick with Taylor's fiction. Her fiction is far better than this 'fact.'Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.