JUST FOR TODAY

There’s plenty of wisdom here for older children and adults of many faiths.

Landmann illustrates the decalogue of Angelo Roncalli, probably best known as Pope John XXIII and now St. John—a simple set of 10 precepts to live by.

Each day, he would be polite, he would not criticize, he would spend 10 minutes in silence listening to God. “Just for today, I will make a plan: perhaps I will not follow it perfectly, but still I will make it. And I will guard against two evils: haste and indecision.” He concludes knowing that it is hard to think of doing those things for a lifetime, but for 12 hours? Surely one can do that. The original Italian is not quite so stiff, although it is as formal; the advice in any language is strong but gentle, as the man himself was. Landmann has made a near-magical series of images illustrating this prayer: of a boy, of a city of turrets and domes, of a classroom in which each child has an animal companion like a guardian angel (or one of Philip Pullman’s daemons), of rooftops and forest and ocean. Her surreal approach is ideal for the ethereal subject. The palette is blue and gold, and the line is delicate. The credo is a bit too wordy for very young children, but they might be taken by the images, and the repetition of “just for today” has a comforting, rhythmic weight.

There’s plenty of wisdom here for older children and adults of many faiths. (Picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: April 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-8028-5461-2

Page Count: 34

Publisher: Eerdmans

Review Posted Online: Feb. 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2015

GOLDIE TAKES A STAND!

GOLDA MEIR'S FIRST CRUSADE

Readers who pursue the context will discover that the girl who became an Israeli prime minister had a social conscience.

A group of school friends provides Golda Meir with her first leadership test.

Golda is the child of Russian-Jewish immigrants living in Milwaukee when she becomes active in the American Young Sisters Society. As their president, Golda tasks them to raise money to buy new textbooks for classmates. The neighborhood is very poor, and pennies are precious to the shoppers who patronize her parents’ store, so it’s no easy feat. The young girl is highly motivated and struggles to write a speech for a fundraiser, finally deciding to “speak from my heart.” The event is a success, and Golda immediately decides to found a new group and “be [its] president!” In her first book for children, Krasner presents a pleasantly fictionalized story about a future world leader. Garrity-Riley’s digitally manipulated gouache-and-collage illustrations are a nice accompaniment featuring wallpaper backgrounds and fashionable period clothing. However the overall effect, with so many washed-out browns and blues, is drab. Pale circles of cheek blush on the characters bring to mind pages from a shopping catalog. Stopping short of Meir’s Zionist passion and move to Palestine, the book forces readers to consult the biographical note to understand why Goldie is important beyond the story.

Readers who pursue the context will discover that the girl who became an Israeli prime minister had a social conscience. (photographs, places to visit, bibliography) (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4677-1200-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kar-Ben

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2014

TORAH SCROLL

While those who attend Jewish services will likely find this the most attention-grabbing, this is still pertinent to readers...

Learn the many specific steps necessary to create a Torah.

The Torah is “the holiest text of the Jewish people.” The words written on the Torah scroll are commandments for living and stories of creation. They have been preserved and revered for countless generations. In this copiously illustrated book, the author and photographer provide step-by-step directions for making a Torah scroll, from preparing the parchment and ink to writing the words and decorating covers. Ofanansky frequently engages readers in the process by asking questions such as “What tradition do YOU like to keep” and also includes interactive features, such as matching the correct answers in columns. There are many factoids, as in “304,805 / The number of letters in a Torah scroll,” as well as quotations from those engaged in the process. Readers can also learn how to make a yad, or pointer, used when reading from the text. There is a strong sense of community and modernity as men and women and girls and boys all work together for this very special creation.

While those who attend Jewish services will likely find this the most attention-grabbing, this is still pertinent to readers interested in religious studies. (Informational picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 4, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-68115-516-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Apples & Honey Press

Review Posted Online: June 21, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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