This will serve well in both religious and nonreligious settings for fall curriculum support.

READ REVIEW

CELEBRATING HARVEST

The annual harvest from farm to table is explored with a religious perspective, focusing on Christian harvest traditions and the Jewish celebration of Sukkot.

Crisp color photography highlights children in scenes of farming and the harvesting of fruits and vegetables. The book features several instructive points about the variety of produce available, the harvest concept and sharing. Finally, it covers two different yet corresponding religious ways to observe the harvest and thank God. Church-based harvest festivals are illustrated by the decorating of a church with various breads, wheat stalks and baskets of food. Sukkot is shown with the building and decorating of a Sukkah and how this symbol of a shelter or hut relates to the ancient Jewish celebration. An informative and eye-catching design on glossy paper offers a large, multicolored print, the majority of text blocks in black against soft pale backgrounds, with key words in bold blue; these are repeated in a vocabulary border at the bottom of each page. The text is largely framed in questions, encouraging personal response and discussion. The simplicity and functionality of the book’s premise is enhanced with an addendum of teaching suggestions for specific pages and more detailed background information about the concepts presented.

This will serve well in both religious and nonreligious settings for fall curriculum support. (websites, index) (Informational picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-237-54373-0

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Evans/Trafalgar

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2014

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Those who favor a literal interpretation of Bible stories and fans of Smith’s popular series will probably feel that this...

NOAH'S ARK

THE BRICK BIBLE FOR KIDS

This interpretation of the story of Noah and his Ark combines the familiar Old Testament story with perennially popular LEGO® building blocks used to create the illustrations.

The story is told in contemporary language with no reference to a particular version of the Bible or location of the relevant verses. God is depicted as an old, bearded white (or yellowish plastic) man in a white robe, and the animals and human characters are all familiar LEGO® shapes, humorously arranged in creative scenes. Smith’s series of Bible stories, the Brick Testament, has provoked controversy due to the violence depicted in some illustrations. This latest addition to the series does not shy away from the difficult issues inherent in the story. Blood (translucent red LEGO® blocks), battles and burning denote evil behavior ("God looked at the world and saw that all the people were very bad"); drowning people and the torso of a body can be seen as the waters rise, and (smiling) skeletons litter the ground when Noah and his family exit the Ark. A note for parents by a religious educator is included with guidelines for explaining the Noah’s Ark story to children.

Those who favor a literal interpretation of Bible stories and fans of Smith’s popular series will probably feel that this floats their boat; those looking for a gentler (and less visually ridiculous) introduction to the popular story should look elsewhere. (Picture book/religion. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-61608-737-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sky Pony Press

Review Posted Online: April 25, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2012

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A thoughtful exhortation to have “the light of freedom always burn brightly in our homes and in our hearts.” (Picture...

LIGHT THE MENORAH!

A HANUKKAH HANDBOOK

A handbook to help families make Hanukkah—the Jewish Festival of Lights—even more meaningful.

Candles are lit for each night of Hanukkah, starting with one for the first night and finishing with eight for the eighth night. Jules offers eight free-verse poems and eight reflections that combine a history of the holiday with moral teachings that can be followed by those of any or no specific faith. Readers are urged to “brighten the darkness,” to “add our light,” to “appreciate each flickering moment,” and to live with tolerance for all peoples. There is also a retelling of the origins of Hanukkah, factoids (including how many candles are needed in all: 44), and mention of two women associated with the festival. Directions are provided for playing with a dreidel, words and music for two songs, recipes for potato latkes and jelly doughnuts, and simple crafts made from household objects. The illustrations depict a white, observant family and pages filled with flickering lights and stars against a blue background. Other pages show a diverse array of children playing games as well as images of the Holy Land at the time of the first Hanukkah. Caregivers and teachers looking for a general introduction to a plane of higher principles may find this helpful.

A thoughtful exhortation to have “the light of freedom always burn brightly in our homes and in our hearts.” (Picture book/religion. 5-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5124-8368-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Kar-Ben

Review Posted Online: Aug. 14, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2018

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