An interesting glimpse into a lesser-known holiday.

READ REVIEW

TISHA B'AV

A JERUSALEM JOURNEY

Three Israeli children tour sites in Jerusalem as they learn about the holy day Tisha B’Av, which commemorates the destruction of both the first and second temples.

Their tour leads them from the Mount of Olives to the Western Wall, which for years had been the only visible remnant of the Temple. But large-scale archaeological activity has uncovered many areas that have been buried for centuries. The children visit some of these sights with knowledgeable guides who provide insights into life in Jerusalem more than 2,000 years ago, when the Roman army destroyed the Temple. They venture underneath the city through Muslim-built archways and passages that lead to the mosques now on the Temple Mount. They see baths, remnants of a marketplace, and a moat. They also visit another site, where they have a chance to sift through dirt from the Temple Mount excavation, looking for objects that had been buried there. Told directly and simply and illustrated entirely in photographs, readers follow the fair-skinned Jewish children on their journey of discovery. Although the boys wear their kippahs, they and their older girl cousin are dressed as casually as any other contemporary children. Oddly, the children are all named with the exception of the young boy narrator. Information about the holiday traditions and practices is woven seamlessly into the tale.

An interesting glimpse into a lesser-known holiday. (afterword) (Picture book/religion. 6-9)

Pub Date: May 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4677-8930-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kar-Ben

Review Posted Online: March 6, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2017

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More homily than history—and bland to boot.

THE LIFE OF MARTIN LUTHER

A POP-UP BOOK

A pop-up introduction to the great Christian reformer.

In Traini’s seven compositionally similar tableaux, simply drawn cartoon figures—all white until a diverse mix of worshipers from the past and present gathers at the end—pop up to look on wide-eyed, along with lots of small cute forest creatures, at select incidents in Luther’s career. As a disclaimer has it, the uncredited and decidedly sketchy narrative is the “popular” version: after being caught in a storm that prompts him to promise God to become a monk if he survives (according to his own account, he appealed to St. Anne), Martin goes on to discover in the Bible “the very good news that we are saved by faith!” Following his 95 theses (totally unexplained) and refusal to recant before the ruler of the Holy Roman Empire, he is temporarily kidnapped for his own safety, later produces a German Bible and other writings, and inspires “a reformation of the church” that is still ongoing so long as “we read the Bible, listen to the Holy Spirit, and follow Jesus in faith.” Readers interested in specific dates, biographical details, or even a general picture of Luther’s times will have to look elsewhere.

More homily than history—and bland to boot. (Informational pop-up picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5064-2192-6

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Sparkhouse

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2017

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Readers who pursue the context will discover that the girl who became an Israeli prime minister had a social conscience.

GOLDIE TAKES A STAND!

GOLDA MEIR'S FIRST CRUSADE

A group of school friends provides Golda Meir with her first leadership test.

Golda is the child of Russian-Jewish immigrants living in Milwaukee when she becomes active in the American Young Sisters Society. As their president, Golda tasks them to raise money to buy new textbooks for classmates. The neighborhood is very poor, and pennies are precious to the shoppers who patronize her parents’ store, so it’s no easy feat. The young girl is highly motivated and struggles to write a speech for a fundraiser, finally deciding to “speak from my heart.” The event is a success, and Golda immediately decides to found a new group and “be [its] president!” In her first book for children, Krasner presents a pleasantly fictionalized story about a future world leader. Garrity-Riley’s digitally manipulated gouache-and-collage illustrations are a nice accompaniment featuring wallpaper backgrounds and fashionable period clothing. However the overall effect, with so many washed-out browns and blues, is drab. Pale circles of cheek blush on the characters bring to mind pages from a shopping catalog. Stopping short of Meir’s Zionist passion and move to Palestine, the book forces readers to consult the biographical note to understand why Goldie is important beyond the story.

Readers who pursue the context will discover that the girl who became an Israeli prime minister had a social conscience. (photographs, places to visit, bibliography) (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4677-1200-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kar-Ben

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2014

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