DANCE, SING, REMEMBER

A CELEBRATION OF JEWISH HOLIDAYS

Organizing according to the Jewish calendar, Kimmelman describes Jewish religious holidays, Israeli national holidays, and the observance of the Sabbath. Each holiday identified includes its name in English and Hebrew, a brief description of its meaning, and a recipe, an activity, or a bible story related to it. The brevity of some of the explanations omits some essential information. Rosh Hashanah is the first holiday in the Jewish New Year, but Kimmelman neglects to define the Jewish year. The section on Sukkot mentions, “we shake the lulav” in a description of holiday activities, but there is no clear definition in words or illustration of the lulav. In describing matzah, Kimmelman does not make the connection about why the Israelites could not wait for bread to rise and prepared matzah instead. Illustrations sometimes do not adequately illustrate the text. A person unfamiliar with a sukkah, the hut constructed for eating meals during the holiday of Sukkot, could not tell what it looks like from Eitan’s sketchy drawing. An illustration of Moses in a basket has no reference in the text to the Passover holiday. The introduction indicates that some of the holidays are recent in origin but the text makes no clear distinction between religious holidays and historically significant modern commemorations such as Yom Hashoah, the remembrance of the Holocaust and Yom Ha-atzma’ut, Israel’s Independence Day. Written primarily for those who are already familiar with the celebrations, this title will not serve the informational needs of the general reader. (Nonfiction. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 31, 2000

ISBN: 0-06-027725-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2000

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GINGERBREAD BABY

In a snowbound Swiss village, Matti figures it’s a good day to make a gingerbread man. He and his mother mix a batch of gingerbread and tuck it in the oven, but Matti is too impatient to wait ten minutes without peeking. When he opens the door, out pops a gingerbread baby, taunting the familiar refrain, “Catch me if you can.” The brash imp races all over the village, teasing animals and tweaking the noses of the citizenry, until there is a fair crowd on his heels intent on giving him a drubbing. Always he remains just out of reach as he races over the winterscape, beautifully rendered with elegant countryside and architectural details by Brett. All the while, Matti is busy back home, building a gingerbread house to entice the nervy cookie to safe harbor. It works, too, and Matti is able to spirit the gingerbread baby away from the mob. The mischief-maker may be a brat, but the gingerbread cookie is also the agent of good cheer, and Brett allows that spirit to run free on these pages. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-399-23444-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1999

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AN ELF FOR CHRISTMAS

The text in Garland’s book has little merit, and appears mostly as an excuse for the digital artwork. The night before Christmas, Tingle, a diligent elf in Santa’s workshop, falls asleep in the cockpit of a toy plane he has been working on. When the plane is wrapped, so is he, and the package is tucked into Santa’s sleigh and delivered to Joey for Christmas. Tingle gets homesick, flies the plane homeward, runs out of power, and hitches a ride with a polar bear. Garland makes no effort to endow his principals with any personality or presence; the artwork suffers from a grating juxtaposition of hyperrealism and smoky, blurred imagery. The proportions and depths of field are discomfittingly exaggerated, except for a scene in which the northern lights are on display above Santa’s workshop—there the otherworldliness perfectly matches the event. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-525-46212-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1999

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