An effervescent run through the sounds and characters of the Hebrew alphabet, with a free musical track available via download.
Typical of song lyrics transcribed to print, the rhymes and rhythms sometimes sound better than they read: “Nun is for na’al—that’s my shoe. / Samech is for sus. That means horse in Hebrew.” Also, the audio version includes a fast alphabetical chorus that is not included in the book, except once at the end in a spread of untranscribed characters. There’s no lack of energy, though, in the language or the illustrations. Incorporating a large Hebrew character into each paint-and-collage scene, Gilboa portrays a light-skinned, red- and black-haired family in, mostly, modern dress dancing through domestic settings with pets, flowers, food, and finally a Torah scroll (for “Tav”). A closing note to adults suggests ways of sharing the contents.
Children new to the language may flounder; those with a handle on their alef-bets already will happily sing along, and they’ll probably pick up some new words along the way. (Picture book. 6-8)