Gathering 22 short tales from religious sources and the far-flung communities of the Diaspora, Schram (The Magic Pomegranate) assembles a surprisingly pallid collection. The larger-than-life figures who drive many of the narratives-tricksters, the wise ones, the legendary King Solomon-barely register as personalities. Jewish humor is puzzlingly absent; among the exceptions is "A Trickster Teaches a Lesson," in which Hershele the beggar is temporarily able to convince a greedy rich man that his valuables are capable of reproducing. De Conno's (The Steadfast Tin Soldier) burnished, sculptural illustrations exude an iconic handsomeness-he'd make a great Haggadah illustrator-but he also underscores the stories' emotional distance from the audience (it doesn't help that characters who are supposed to be clever or wily or simply engaged all share the same blank stare). Ages 8-12. (Mar.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The Hungry Clothes and Other Jewish Folktalesby Peninnah Schram, Gianni De Conno
The stories we hear in childhood—usually from parents and grandparents, teachers and caregivers—teach us the values, faith, culture, and traditions of those we love most. They nourish our sense of wonder and curiosity about the world. That’s what this brand-new series aims to achieve, and it is our hope that children and their families will explore… See more details below
The stories we hear in childhood—usually from parents and grandparents, teachers and caregivers—teach us the values, faith, culture, and traditions of those we love most. They nourish our sense of wonder and curiosity about the world. That’s what this brand-new series aims to achieve, and it is our hope that children and their families will explore these wonderful tales together. Each book, filled with evocative artwork and a cast of unforgettable characters, will bring a little magic into a child’s world.
The first volume, The Hungry Clothes & Other Jewish Folktales, presents a diverse selection of Ashkenazi and Sephardic fairytales, legends, parables, fables, tall tales, trickster and fool tales, and supernatural and mystical stories. They include The Pots of Honey, which teaches the importance of both justice and forgiveness; The Boy Who Prayed with the Alphabet, about an unlearned boy who finds a unique way to express his love for God; and The Wise Daughter Who Solves Riddles, one of the most beloved stories in the Jewish tradition.
Gr 3-6- Jewish folktales, legends, parables, tall tales, and rabbinic teaching tales have been retold by a well-known storyteller. A short introductory paragraph notes the theme of each story, and the ample glossary and extensive list of sources provide thorough background information. The book is visually arresting, decorated with dignified paintings by an Italian illustrator and designed with jewel-toned borders and plenty of white space. Unfortunately, Schram's prowess as a live storyteller does not translate well onto the printed page. Without the timing, expression, and gestures of the performer, these tales feel didactic and stiff, like an unplayed musical score waiting for instruments to bring it to life. The illustrations, despite their skilled execution, match the stilted feel of the text in the dour, unsmiling faces and static poses of the characters. The excellent source material will not be properly appreciated by the intended audience. For livelier collections of Jewish folktales, seek out Howard Schwartz's books for children.-Heidi Estrin, Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel, Boca Raton, FL
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Many of the characters I was unfamiliar with, and some of the other characters were brought out differently than I was "used to". I really liked "getting acquainted".