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THE ALWAYS PRAYER SHAWL by Sheldon Oberman

THE ALWAYS PRAYER SHAWL

By Sheldon Oberman (Author) , Ted Lewin (Illustrator)

Age Range: 5 - 10

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1994
ISBN: 1-878093-22-3
Publisher: Boyds Mills

 ``Now I can teach you something that my grandfather taught me,'' says Adam to his grandson at the end of this generational story, ``...some things change and some things don't.'' As a boy in rural Russia, the man who's now a suburban American got eggs direct from chickens and chopped wood to keep warm, but--as Adam is doing now, in their synagogue--his grandfather told him about the Jewish people and his own family: Adam was named for his grandfather's grandfather. When Adam and his parents set out for America, his grandfather gave him the earlier Adam's prayer shawl. While Adam grows up and has a family of his own, the shawl wears thin and he replaces the fringes, then the collar, at last even the cloth. But as he explains as an old man, ``It is just like me. I have changed...But I am still Adam.'' The idea is simple yet resonant, and well supported in Lewin's watercolors, rendered in the black and white of old photos until Adam's middle age in what might be the 50's; as always, his subtle, warm characterizations steal the show, though the composition and detail in the b&w section are also especially fine. An engaging book, sure to find many uses. (Picture book. 5-10)