Family traditions and intergenerational love are strong and endearing in this fresh look at Purim.

A PERSIAN PRINCESS

A celebration of Purim with an appropriate Persian flavor.

Raya is happily baking cookies for Purim with her grandmother, Maman joon. They are called koloocheh and are from the family’s Persian Jewish heritage. Unfortunately, Raya is too young to be in the school play, in which her older brother will play Mordecai. Maman joon pauses cooking in order to adjust his costume and beard. She can do even more for her granddaughter, though. In a trunk in her bedroom is a wide assortment of sparkly jewelry and brightly colored scarves—just perfect for a little girl who wants to pretend to be Esther. Maman joon has saved them from the time that she lived in Hamadan, a city in Iran. Together, the costumed girl and her grandmother share their baked treats with the neighbors, and Raya explains that she is a “Persian princess” just as Esther was. Even better, Raya decides to invite everyone to the house, where she will perform the story of Purim. It is a joyous time, indeed. Goldin’s sweet story offers readers a celebration of Purim that is both familiar and different to that observed by Ashkenazic Jewry and more commonly seen in U.S. children’s books but that can be enjoyed by all. Doneva’s delicate cartoon illustrations are suitably colorful and depict a neighborhood of various ethnicities.

Family traditions and intergenerational love are strong and endearing in this fresh look at Purim. (author’s note) (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: April 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-68115-553-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Apples & Honey Press

Review Posted Online: Dec. 18, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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The story of Noah and the Ark provides a lesson in living together in peace

WORSE AND WORSE ON NOAH'S ARK

Life on the ark wasn’t always a lark.

Noah follows God’s commandment to build a really big ark with the help of his wife and his sons. In a bit of linguistic license, Mrs. Noah turns to Yiddish to complain, as do the sons. What with the constant rain, things just get “WORSE and WORSE and WORSE.” The animals arrive, and the ark gets crowded, dirty, and throwing-up smelly. Yes, it keeps getting worse. Then the critters begin to argue among themselves and eye one another hungrily. The smells increase, and the Noah family wonders one more time, “Could things get any worse?” They do when the ark springs a leak, but Noah has a solution: cooperation. Tranquility and a good-neighbor policy result. The flood ends, and the Noah family and the animals all happily disembark. In her notes, the author states that she has told her tale following the Judaic tradition of midrash, stories that elucidate Biblical text. She also hopes that readers of her book will learn to live in “harmony,” with “empathy,” and “peacefully.” Mineker’s illustrations against a white background provide amusing views of the animals; readers will chuckle at details such as the blissfully sleeping sloths and sneezing squirrels. The humans are depicted with white and brown faces.

The story of Noah and the Ark provides a lesson in living together in peace . (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: April 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-68115-554-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Apples & Honey Press

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

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TATANKA AND THE LAKOTA PEOPLE

A CREATION STORY

An Oglala Lakota, Montileaux first created the ledger-style paintings (flat, two-dimensional) in this offering for exhibit at the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre, S.D. The illustrations are characterized by clear vibrant colors and characters that are portrayed in dramatic poses and facial expressions. The exhibit committee selected the traditional text that accompanies the illustrations in this telling of how the Lakota People were tricked into leaving the Underworld through the Wind Cave to live on the surface of the earth. They became “the Ordinary,” or Lakota. Sensing that his people needed help to survive, the holy man, Tatanka, transformed himself into a buffalo and sacrificed his powers in order to provide food and warmth to the Lakota people. Both the English and the original Lakota words are used side-by-side on each page. A beautiful rendering of story and illustration that needs to be in every library interested in building the diversity of their collection. (Picture book/mythology. 5-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 2006

ISBN: 0-9749195-8-6

Page Count: 48

Publisher: SDSHS Press

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2006

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