THE STORY OF SHABBAT

This republication of a 1966 text with new illustrations explains the Jewish Sabbath. Giving context to today's Shabbat customs, Cone (Come Back, Salmon, 1992, etc.) recalls the story of Moses leading the Jews out of slavery and receiving the Ten Commandments. The fourth commandment, “Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy,” refers to keeping a day of rest. She describes the traditional customs of lighting candles, studying the Torah, and enjoying a festive family meal as ways of marking the day. Two stories that illustrate the feeling of the Sabbath, instructions for crafts, and a recipe for Challah, the traditional braided bread, complete the text. Lisker’s (When the Beginning Began, 1999, etc.) acrylic-on-canvas, stylized illustrations are boldly colored and work best when depicting ancient times. Many of the modern families look strained and detached. People are frequently shown looking out of the corners of their eyes, which gives them a strange appearance. One black family is shown at their Shabbat table. They may be Ethiopian or American Black Jews, but the reader is given no hint of their background in the text. Since there are no other illustrations in which a dark-skinned person appears, the reader is left to ponder why the illustrator chose to be inclusive here. None of the illustrations depict modern Jewish boys and men who do not cover their heads with skullcaps or the ultra orthodox who wear black and do not shave their beards or cut their forelocks. A lyrical, sensitive text is not served well by its new illustrations. (Nonfiction. 6-8)

Pub Date: April 30, 2000

ISBN: 0-06-027944-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2000

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A PLUMP AND PERKY TURKEY

The leaves have changed, Thanksgiving nears—and the canny turkeys of Squawk Valley have decamped, leaving local residents to face the prospect of a birdless holiday. What to do? They decide to lure a bird back by appealing to its vanity, placing a want ad for a model to help sculptors creating turkey art, then “inviting” the bird to dinner. The ploy works, too, for out of the woods struts plump and perky Pete to take on the job. Shelly debuts with brightly hued cartoon scenes featuring pop-eyed country folk and deceptively silly-looking gobblers. Pete may be vain, but he hasn’t lost the wiliness of his wild ancestors; when the townsfolk come for him, he hides amidst a flock of sculpted gobblers—“There were turkeys made of spuds, / there were turkeys made of rope. / There were turkeys made of paper, / there were turkeys made of soap. / The room was full of turkeys / in a wall to wall collage. / For a clever bird like Pete / it was perfect camouflage.” He makes his escape, and is last seen lounging on a turkey-filled tropical beach as the disappointed Squawk Valleyites gather round the table for a main course of . . . shredded wheat. Good for a few giggles. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2001

ISBN: 1-890817-91-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2001

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While this is not an essential purchase, most little pumpkins will love being told, “Baby, I'm batty for you!” (Board book....

YOU ARE MY PUMPKIN

Young children won't understand the metaphors but will appreciate the sentiment made clear by the repeated, Halloween-themed declarations of love in Wan's latest board book.

Each of the seven spreads presents an endearment illustrated by an object drawn with heavy outlines and just enough detail to invoke its essential characteristics. Lest it become too maudlin, between the “sugary, sweet candy corn” and a “purr-fect, cuddly kitty” is a “wild, messy monster.” Wan manages to make each drawing expressive and distinctive while relying on just a few shapes—crescents or circles for eyes, dots or ovals accenting cheeks. Although each spread stands alone, there are quiet connections. For example, the orange of the pumpkin is repeated in the candy corn, and the purple that adorns kitty's hat and bow becomes the prominent color on the next spread, setting off the friendly white ghost nicely. The same purple is used for the spider's body on the next to last spread. Subtle, shadowed backgrounds repeat the patterns found elsewhere in the book. For example, the background of the page with the kitty includes pumpkins, hearts, and hats and bows like the ones kitty is wearing.

While this is not an essential purchase, most little pumpkins will love being told, “Baby, I'm batty for you!” (Board book. 6 mos.-3)

Pub Date: June 28, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-545-88092-3

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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