Darvick complements her photo essay I Love Jewish Faces (2006) with this similar celebration of multiethnic Jews.
A sequence of clear color photographs described in 90 words that are divided into two- to four-word phrases conveys a simple view of the multiplicity of American Jewry. They are members of families, celebrate the holidays, lead daily lives of play, study, and accomplishment, and react with smiles or tears to various circumstances. The book begins with the recurring sentence “We are JEWISH faces,” which shows a smiling little redheaded white boy holding a torah scroll. Turn the page and a set of white grandparents—“BUBBE faces” and “ZAYDE faces”—appears. A couple of pages in, four brown-skinned Yemeni children in national dress accompany the phrase “faces of all RACES and PLACES.” (Readers will need to check the credits on the copyright page in order to discern this group’s origins.) Darvick’s intention is to demonstrate “the diversity of what ‘Jewish faces’ look like,” as interracial adoption and conversion challenge easy assumptions. Her apparent concentration on American suburban settings limits her purpose, however, as relatively few people of color are shown. In addition to the Yemeni children, a few children clearly present Asian and one African-American; other, olive-skinned faces are a bit more ambiguous. Other types of diversity, such as in disability or sexual orientation, are not at all in evidence.
Although readers may not find the book to be as diversely populated as it promises, it succeeds beautifully as a joyous portrayal of Jewish-oriented life. (Picture book. 5-8)