Children's LiteratureAs part of the "Places of Worship" series, Jewish Synagogue explains the Jewish house of worship. Excellent photographs accompany the simple text. The Ark, one prominent object in the synagogue, contains the Torah scrolls. This five-book collection is written in Hebrew and contains stories and teachings about God. You will not find pictures of God or statues in this place of worship, as believers feel that God does not have a body and that it is wrong to worship people. Instead you will find stained glass or pictures of the Menorah, the city of Jerusalem or the Star of David. The star has twelve sides to represent the twelve tribes of Israel. Although the text is brief, it would be an excellent beginning and a good way to compare the six religions in the series. Other sources, including web sites and videos, are listed. An index and glossary make it an easy tool to use. 2000 (orig. 1998), Gareth Stevens/Franklin Watts, Ages 6 to 10, $21.27. Reviewer: Laura Hummel
School Library JournalGr 1-4-These appealing books use large print, clear photos, and colorful borders of religious symbols to attract young readers. Unfortunately, although the material is interesting, it is extremely condensed. So much so, in fact, that there is not enough information to answer basic questions about these houses of worship. Both titles assume readers know that Jews and Muslims practice Judaism and Islam, though these words never appear in the books. Neither explains all of the symbols in the borders. Neither includes a typical floor plan, causing confusion about how the various parts of the buildings fit together. Neither discusses ceremonies and celebrations that occur in the buildings, or their use for meetings and social activities. And neither outlines a sample worship service. Synagogue omits prayer books, cantors and choirs, and head coverings. Mosque ignores the dome and courtyard common to these structures, lacks examples of prayers, and doesn't explain how Muslims pray while they're at school or work during prayer times (or why prayer times change throughout the year).-Ann W. Moore, Schenectady County Public Library, NY Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
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