A fact-filled final note concludes this mesmerizing book.

READ REVIEW

GOLEM

The much honored cut-paper master (Sundiata, 1992, etc.) turns his attention to a retelling of the story of the Golem, created by a chief rabbi, Judah Loew, to defend the Jews against the "Blood Lie" (that Jews were mixing the blood of Christian children with the flour and water of matzoh) of 16th-century Prague.

Like Rogasky's book (see review, above), Wisniewski's exposes the slander that was embraced and widely promulgated during the Holocaust years. Loew's Golem—a sort of simple yet powerful giant made of clay with the Hebrew word emet (truth) on his forehead—is named Joseph and charged to "guard the ghetto at night and catch those planting false evidence of the Blood Lie ... and bring them unharmed to the authorities." In Wisniewski's story, the Golem turns back the rampaging masses who want to destroy the Jews of Prague and is eventually returned to the clay from which he sprang. The cut-paper collages are exquisitely produced and exceedingly dramatic. There is menace and majesty in Wisniewski's use of color, and he finds atmosphere and terror in a scissor's stroke.

A fact-filled final note concludes this mesmerizing book. (Picture book/folklore. 6-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 18, 1996

ISBN: 978-0-395-72618-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clarion

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1996

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TOMAS AND THE LIBRARY LADY

A charming, true story about the encounter between the boy who would become chancellor at the University of California at Riverside and a librarian in Iowa. Tom†s Rivera, child of migrant laborers, picks crops in Iowa in the summer and Texas in the winter, traveling from place to place in a worn old car. When he is not helping in the fields, Tom†s likes to hear Papa Grande's stories, which he knows by heart. Papa Grande sends him to the library downtown for new stories, but Tom†s finds the building intimidating. The librarian welcomes him, inviting him in for a cool drink of water and a book. Tom†s reads until the library closes, and leaves with books checked out on the librarian's own card. For the rest of the summer, he shares books and stories with his family, and teaches the librarian some Spanish. At the end of the season, there are big hugs and a gift exchange: sweet bread from Tom†s's mother and a shiny new book from the librarianto keep. Col¢n's dreamy illustrations capture the brief friendship and its life-altering effects in soft earth tones, using round sculptured shapes that often depict the boy right in the middle of whatever story realm he's entered. (Picture book. 7-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-679-80401-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1997

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THE BEST CHEF IN SECOND GRADE

An impending school visit by a celebrity chef sends budding cook Ollie into a tailspin. He and his classmates are supposed to bring a favorite family food for show and tell, but his family doesn’t have a clear choice—besides, his little sister Rosy doesn’t like much of anything. What to do? As in their previous two visits to Room 75, Kenah builds suspense while keeping the tone light, and Carter adds both bright notes of color and familiar home and school settings in her cartoon illustrations. Eventually, Ollie winkles favorite ingredients out of his clan, which he combines into a mac-and-cheese casserole with a face on top that draws delighted praise from the class’s renowned guest. As Ollie seems to do his kitchen work without parental assistance, a cautionary tip or two (and maybe a recipe) might not have gone amiss here, but the episode’s mouthwatering climax and resolution will guarantee smiles of contentment all around. (Easy reader. 6-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-06-053561-2

Page Count: 48

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2007

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