Historically, midrashim are stories that explicate Bible stories; here, Rabbi Gellman tells 21 of his own modern, humorous...

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DOES GOD HAVE A BIG TOE?

Historically, midrashim are stories that explicate Bible stories; here, Rabbi Gellman tells 21 of his own modern, humorous midrashim in an attempt to share his love of the Bible and to help children listen to Bible stories with their ""ears and. . .heart and. . . mind and. . .soul."" Some of Gellman's stories are both splendid and witty, as when God searches for the right man to father his chosen people and the first interviews don't go well (""Now look, why don't you go to a good idol maker and have a nice sculpture made of your image, and then we can find a nice place to put it down where people can bow to it"") or when Enoch tries to blow a finn's horn to announce the new year and finds that it's as hard as trying to do good things and give up bad ones. But there are also stories that are more like shticks (e.g., one in which Moses is on the verge of realizing that he is a Jew and overhears a mother singing to her baby--in Yiddish)--or just plain silly: a thank-you note to God for leading the Jews to Israel is signed ""the kids."" Still, if Gellman's intention is to make children think about the stories and to keep the Bible vibrant and alive, he has achieved a real success here. De Mejo's stylized, jewel-like paintings, more realistic than his previous illustrations, make a handsome and appropriate contribution to the format.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1989

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1989