Jewish Holidays All Year Round: A Family Treasury

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
HWritten by Booklist's children's book editor, abundantly illustrated with Savadier's (The Uninvited Guest: and Other Jewish Holiday Tales) playful watercolors as well as color photographs of art and artifacts from New York City's Jewish Museum, this book strikes a tone both child-friendly and respectful. As the author thoughtfully explores the history and significance of the holidays and festivals of the Jewish year, she succinctly links these to traditions and rituals. For example, after explaining Sukkot and identifying it as an inspiration for the Pilgrims' first Thanksgiving, she writes, "Today, each sukkah fragile... open to the sky and the rain reminds us that we eternally owe our thanks to God. The sukkah symbolizes our need for God's shelter." Instructions for holiday activities (crafts, recipes, etc.) are also included. Almost every page features at least one illustration, from a view of an 18th-century Galician Torah crown to a contemporary photo of a Harlem congregation blowing long, twisty shofars to a 1910 Rosh Hashanah "card" carved on a walrus tusk in Nome, Alaska. Savadier's vignettes, mostly of busy, happy people, underscore the liveliness of Jewish faith. All ages. (Sept.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
An impressive reference work, this is a warm and welcoming resource for Jewish families and for educators who wish to share the Jewish culture with their young charges. Cooper explains the history behind holidays such as Simchat Torah, Shavuot, Tisha B'Av, Rosh Hashanah and that weekly holiday, the Sabbath. But she does more than offer just the facts; the author imbues each chapter with meaning and reverence. Cooper also provides special family activities for each holiday, enabling parents to create warm and meaningful traditions. Savadier's pen-and-ink illustrations are a colorful counterpoint to Cooper's storytelling; the book is also plentifully illustrated by exquisite works of art from The Jewish Museum in New York. Each chapter would make a good read-aloud before the holiday in question occurs, but older children may want to use it as a reference work for school reports or simply to read about the history of their people. 2002, Harry N. Abrams,
— Donna Freedman
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-Cooper introduces 13 Jewish holidays, details how they are celebrated at home and at the synagogue, and presents related recipes and activities. Beautifully illustrated with photos of culturally significant objects and paintings as well as child-friendly, pen-and-ink pictures, this welcoming volume is just right for sharing. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810905504
  • Publisher: Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/28/2002
  • Pages: 80
  • Sales rank: 969,711
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.87 (w) x 11.12 (h) x 0.62 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    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.'

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