PreS- This entry in the "It's Time" series of Jewish holiday photo-essays is a charmer. Adorable preschoolers, including children of Asian and African descent, take a pretend trip to Israel to celebrate Israeli Independence Day, a common practice in Jewish schools across North America. From the imaginary plane ride on a row of chairs, to picking pretend oranges from a kibbutz orchard, to visiting a Western Wall made of blocks, the staples of Israeli tourism are re-created. Youngsters explore the desert (sand spread on a sidewalk), swim in the Dead Sea (a blue blanket on the floor), and join a parade. Straightforward text describes each photo: "It's time for lunch. Here is a felafel stand. Sophie likes salad in her felafel. Emily likes French fries." This book is a must-have for Jewish preschools, where the ideas will be familiar and the accompanying craft activity ("Israel's Birthday Hats") will be appreciated. Those looking for simple introductory materials about the country itself should try Sylvia Rouss's Sammy Spider's First Trip to Israel (2002) or Judye Groner's Let's Visit Israel (2004, both Lerner).-Heidi Estrin, Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel, Boca Raton, FL
It's Israel's Birthdayby Ellen Dietrick
Board a make-believe plane and fly with our preschoolers to Israel to celebrate Yom Ha'atzmaut. Join them as they float in the Dead Sea, munch on felafel, shop for souvenirs at the shuk and tuck prayers into the Kotel. Put on your party hat and march in the Happy Birthday, Israel parade!
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