THE WHITE RAM by Mordicai Gerstein


A Story of Abraham and Isaac
Age Range: 4 - 8
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Working from Midrash or legend based on the Old Testament, Gerstein tells the story of the white ram, created by God on the sixth day, with a mission to save the life of Abraham’s son, Isaac, at the sacrificial altar. A prosaic and flowing narrative describes the ram’s challenging race to reach Abraham in time. A demonic-looking malfeasant first warns him of death and then creates a series of increasingly perilous impediments to delay and detract from the important deed: a grassy field of food; a sparkling thirst-quenching fountain; a fearsome roaring lion and finally, a bush of brambles that entangles the ram’s horns. Whimsical, detailed, fanciful paintings in diffused tones complete the mythical rendition. Gerstein maintains the Jewish tradition of not picturing an image of God by embedding His presence in several camouflaged cloud scenes with allusions of hands and even a sage profile. This cleverly adds an element of optical illusion while revealing God’s timely intervention. The ram’s eternal significance is noted through the symbolic blowing of the Shofar made from a ram’s horn on Rosh Hashanah. A graceful and artistic biblical portrayal to be read aloud throughout the year. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 30th, 2006
ISBN: 0-8234-1897-9
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Holiday House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2006


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