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GOLEM by David Wisniewski


by David Wisniewski & illustrated by David Wisniewski

Age Range: 6 - 10

Pub Date: Oct. 18th, 1996
ISBN: 0-395-72618-2
Publisher: Clarion

 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)