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The Mysterious Visitor: Stories of the Prophet Elijah

The Mysterious Visitor: Stories of the Prophet Elijah

by Nina Jaffe, Elivia Savadier (Illustrator)

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Many people know the Jewish tradition of setting a place-replete with a special goblet of wine-at the Passover Seder table for the prophet Elijah. But this versatile messenger from heaven is a player in several other Jewish rituals and appears in many other Jewish folktales that young readers may not be familiar with. The team that collaborated on The Uninvited Guest and Other Jewish Holiday Tales now delivers a collection of eight engaging tales that focuses on the many guises of the holy figure of Elijah. Jaffe's settings range from ancient Egypt to Europe during the Crusades to near-contemporary Brooklyn, and in every case Elijah has important lessons of faith and morality to impart. In "The Bear in the Forest," for example, a couple mistreats a beggar (not recognizing him as a Elijah) who has come to welcome their new baby. As punishment, the parents suffer as their son turns into a bear and goes to live in the woods. In a less obvious role, the prophet shines in the heart of a man who shares his faith and fortune with a newly immigrated family in the story "Where Is Elijah?" Savadier's full-page, predominantly joyful pencil-and-watercolor works open each story and often capture the most striking elements of Jaffe's text. Jaffe's thoughtful introduction and background information on the stories, as well as a glossary and a bibliography are all bonuses that are sure to make this a treasured family volume. Ages 8-12. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Judy Silverman
Jaffe has collected eight stories about the prophet Elijah from around the world. In Jewish tradition, Elijah is believed to be a messenger from Heaven to Earth. Hundreds of legends from around the world tell of his travels and his many roles as comforter, healer, and miracle-worker. He appears in disguise in many tales. In this book, Eastern Europe, Egypt, Morocco, and ancient Palestine are all represented. Beautifully illustrated by Savadier, these stories are wonderful for read-aloud, as well as for children who can read on their own. 1997, Scholastic Press,
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 1-4An attractive and handsomely produced companion title to The Uninvited Guest and Other Jewish Holiday Tales (Scholastic, 1993). Eight stories from German-Jewish traditions, Yiddish folklore, Morocco, and ancient Palestine have as their central character the Biblical prophet, Elijah. Although traditionally associated with the Jewish festival of Passover, Elijah has also taken on the persona of one who helps those in need. "The Dream" is a variation of the tale popularized in Uri Shulevitz's The Treasure (Farrar, 1979), while "Elijah in the Marketplace" has previously been retold by Isaac Bashevis Singer in Elijah the Slave (Farrar, 1970). The stories are told in a gentle voice that is well suited to reading aloud. Although there are morals in each tale concerning the need to live wisely and treat strangers with kindness, the tone is never didactic. Nor are these selections limited to a Jewish audience. All children can recognize familiar motifs found in other folktales such as "The Fisherman and His Wife" and "Snow White and Rose Red." Certainly, the precepts are universal and of universal appeal. The full-page art is colorful and sets each story's mood with an appealing mix of concrete and abstract imagery. Jaffe provides a thoughtful introduction and notes on the origin of each selection.Susan Pine, New York Public Library

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.27(w) x 11.10(h) x 0.60(d)
880L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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