Golemito

Golemito

by Ilan Stavans, Teresa Villegas
     
 

Originally published in the children's magazine Spider, Golemito is the story of how a couple of Jewish boys in Mexico City confront bullying by creating a Golem, the mythical creature of Jewish folklore. The Golem was originally made by Rabbi Lowe, known as "the Maharal of Prague," in the 16th century to defend the city's Jewish community from

See more details below

  • Checkmark Kids' Club Eligible  Shop Now

Overview

Originally published in the children's magazine Spider, Golemito is the story of how a couple of Jewish boys in Mexico City confront bullying by creating a Golem, the mythical creature of Jewish folklore. The Golem was originally made by Rabbi Lowe, known as "the Maharal of Prague," in the 16th century to defend the city's Jewish community from anti-Semitic attacks. In Golemito, Sammy Nurko and the story's narrator conjure an Aztec version of the Golem that is minute in size and responds to enchanting Nahuitl poetry.

Written by internationally renowned, prize-winning author Ilan Stavans and illustrated by Teresa Villegas, Golemito is both an endearing tale of courage and redemption and an enthralling fusion of the Jewish and Latino traditions.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
09/01/2013
Gr 3–6—Sammy Nurko is a boy genius who can create and manipulate mechanical devices, yet he is being bullied at his Jewish school in Mexico City. He asks his friend, Ilan, about the golem, the mythical creature that comes to life in Jewish folklore. Though Ilan knows the story, he wonders whether Sammy needs a protector or if he just needs more courage. Tired of being harassed, Sammy brings Golemito, a small Aztec figurine, to life, and it loves to hear Nahuatl poetry. Golemito becomes powerful, and Sammy becomes more confident. While Stavans's tale is interesting, the ending feels rushed, making readers almost miss the connection between Golemito and Sammy's need for courage. Even so, the interweaving of Jewish and Latino backgrounds is unique. The spreads feature linocut illustrations, which are mostly black on color backgrounds. An additional purchase, this book would be a good read-aloud.—Maricela Leon-Barrera, San Francisco Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
Stavans presents the story of Sammy and Ilan, two Jewish boys living in Southern California, who combine their individual strengths to face bullying. Sammy and Ilan are friends who complement each other. Sammy's strengths are in math and science; Ilan excels at languages, including Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs. Sammy faces trouble from bullies at school and looks toward the story of the golem from Jewish folklore for inspiration. He uses clay from the Dead Sea to create his own golem, but his is an Aztec warrior. The warrior does offer protection, but, just as in the Jewish tale, it grows too powerful, and Sammy must find a way to bring Golemito back under control. Originally published in Cricket, the story transitions well into a picture book for older children. Heavy, dark illustrations create a serious tone, appropriate for the age of the intended audience. However, while some readers may enjoy the rare fusion of Jewish and Aztec mythology and culture, others may be uncomfortable with the portrayal of the Aztec warrior/Golemito as a savage and a possession. Readers may also be left wondering how Sammy will face his continued troubles with bullies once Golemito is gone. This competent picture book addresses the problem of bullying and offers an original, if not completely successful, blend of Jewish and Aztec culture and folklore. (Picture book. 7-11)

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781588382924
Publisher:
NewSouth, Incorporated
Publication date:
09/28/2013
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
1,382,784
Product dimensions:
9.10(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >