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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Sara Rofofsky Marcus
This basic introduction to the Jewish holiday of Sukkot provides an introduction to the Jewish holiday of Purim along with an accurate retelling of the story of Purim from the Book of Esther. The text is appropriate to the intended age level, with "Did You Know?" questions on almost every two-page spread. The content and images are both appropriate and reflect the diverse Jewish community around the world. The glossary is of English words but not of Hebrew words used throughout the text. Part of the "Celebrations in My World" series, the pictures provide visual interest, while the text is both informative and can lead to further discussions. A lack in this work is a representation of the diverse levels of observance of holidays by the varying sects of Judaism. This work is a valuable addition to any discussion of Jewish holidays, in either Jewish or non-Jewish classrooms. Reviewer: Sara Rofofsky Marcus
School Library Journal
Gr 1–3—These titles profile two lesser-known Jewish holidays. Each one includes history, definitions, customs, and traditions. Unfortunately, both titles lack clarity and context. The more successful volume is Sukkot, which follows a logical progression from history to holiday preparations to celebration customs. Purim meanders back and forth between traditions and the reasons behind them. The text of Sukkot is dry but serviceable, while Purim has the feel of a report written by a precocious child, containing ridiculous statements such as "Judaism is a religion that many Jewish people follow." Both titles, while technically accurate for the most part, are oversimplified to the point of being unclear or misleading. They are decorated with stock color photography depicting a mix of Orthodox and non-Orthodox Jews. Some photos are obvious filler, such as an image of two boys playing with leaves because Sukkot takes place in the fall. In Purim, an image of challah baking accompanies text about the Purim treats hamantaschen (oddly described in the singular "Hamantasch"). "Did You Know?" sidebars offer random facts, often raising more questions than they answer. Highlighted words within the text are defined in a glossary, but these selections seem random as well; do readers need "sunset" defined for them? While the need for books on these holidays is great, these titles do more to confuse than to educate. Stick with Joel Lurie Grishaver's dated but accurate and heartfelt "Building Jewish Life" series (Torah Aura) instead.—Heidi Estrin, Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel, Boca Raton, FL
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780778747826
  • Publisher: Crabtree Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 6/1/2010
  • Series: Celebrations in My World
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 983,818
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Lexile: IG670L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 0.20 (d)

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