While those who attend Jewish services will likely find this the most attention-grabbing, this is still pertinent to readers...

TORAH SCROLL

Learn the many specific steps necessary to create a Torah.

The Torah is “the holiest text of the Jewish people.” The words written on the Torah scroll are commandments for living and stories of creation. They have been preserved and revered for countless generations. In this copiously illustrated book, the author and photographer provide step-by-step directions for making a Torah scroll, from preparing the parchment and ink to writing the words and decorating covers. Ofanansky frequently engages readers in the process by asking questions such as “What tradition do YOU like to keep” and also includes interactive features, such as matching the correct answers in columns. There are many factoids, as in “304,805 / The number of letters in a Torah scroll,” as well as quotations from those engaged in the process. Readers can also learn how to make a yad, or pointer, used when reading from the text. There is a strong sense of community and modernity as men and women and girls and boys all work together for this very special creation.

While those who attend Jewish services will likely find this the most attention-grabbing, this is still pertinent to readers interested in religious studies. (Informational picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 4, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-68115-516-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Apples & Honey Press

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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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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