Even those not familiar with Rabbi Akiva’s monumental achievements will be moved by his devotion to learning and his wife’s...

DROP BY DROP

A STORY OF RABBI AKIVA

A devoted wife is the inspiration behind a noted scholar of Judaism.

Rachel, a rich man’s daughter, falls in love with a poor, illiterate shepherd named Akiva who works for her father. She recognizes that a man “with such goodness in his heart, who understood so much about life, must be smart.” Her father disowns her, but they marry and she encourages him to study even though he is 40. Akiva is reluctant, but one day he observes the power of water to slowly erode stone and realizes that “I can learn—just like water cuts through stone—a little bit each day.” He begins attending school with children, masters Hebrew, and then leaves home for many years to study Torah. Akiva becomes the revered sage of Judaism, “a wise rabbi followed by thousands of students.” His wife is never forgotten. The historical Akiva lived and studied in the first century CE, after the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, and worked to codify Judaism’s oral laws into the Mishnah portion of the Talmud. Jules has based her warmly told narrative on legends of the sage and his wife. Nayberg’s richly textured illustrations are stately and sculptural, depicting Rachel and Akiva with pale skin and red hair.

Even those not familiar with Rabbi Akiva’s monumental achievements will be moved by his devotion to learning and his wife’s loving encouragement. (author’s note) (Picture book/religion. 5-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5124-2091-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kar-Ben

Review Posted Online: June 5, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Uncomplicated language expressed in a direct and honest voice plus vibrant illustrations make Israel’s Operation Moses...

YUVI'S CANDY TREE

The hardship many Ethiopian Jews faced to successfully reach Israel is recounted in the voice of a 5-year-old girl who escapes with her grandmother, determined to reach their destination.

Yuvi’s trip begins on a donkey at night with her grandmother’s strong religious conviction that angels will help them join mother and baby brother in their real home. “We are going to Jerusalem. We have angels with us. We’ll fly home.” The long, arduous and dangerous journey is made bearable through role-playing familiar family Shabbat rituals. Several encounters with robbers take almost all their money, except for the small amount Yuvi cleverly hides within her hair curls. Starved and parched from the endless days and nights of traveling, mostly on foot, Grandmother’s new promise of unlimited candy, clothes, games and bread is a wonder to Yuvi. Finally when they reach Jerusalem aboard a big plane, Yuvi sees her first orange tree and learns that after picking and eating one, so juicy and sweet, another will grow back—the candy tree she imagined. Large, mostly double-page paintings in soft yellow, tan and blue hues on a textured canvas reflect the intrigue, emotion and difficulty of the journey.  

Uncomplicated language expressed in a direct and honest voice plus vibrant illustrations make Israel’s Operation Moses easily accessible for early-elementary children. (afterword) (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-7613-5651-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kar-Ben

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Bari’s story of one girl's approach to the Jewish principle of “tikkun olam” (literally, "repair the world") will resonate...

JUMPING JENNY

A little girl channels her exuberance and excessive pogo-stick jumping into a worthy fundraising venture.

Jenny is a born jumper. She vaults over fire hydrants, bounds over hedges and leaps over fences, but she isn’t very careful about when her jumping might not be appropriate. Her teacher scolds, “Jumping is for frogs,” when Jenny knocks over the caterpillar bins in the science room, and she is banished from the cafeteria after she upsets the entire hot-lunch cart. Much worse is the incessant teasing she attracts from her classmates, who croak, “Ribbit, ribbit,” whenever they see her. “When did my Jumping Jenny become Slumping Jenny?” asks Grandma when she sees a forlorn-looking Jenny sitting on the stoop. Discouraged but still thinking positively, Jenny begins to develop an idea that will put her jumping talent to good use as part of her class “mitzvah project.” Friends and family pledge to Jenny's jumpathon, to be held at the school’s African village fair that's been to raise money for a Ugandan school. Acrylic-on-canvas cartoon-style paintings depict a Jewish day school, with boys wearing yarmulkes and Hebrew text on the board.

Bari’s story of one girl's approach to the Jewish principle of “tikkun olam” (literally, "repair the world") will resonate as readers watch Jenny achieve her exhausting, triumphant success. (author’s note) (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-7613-5141-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kar-Ben

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more