Sasso (God's Paintbrush, 1992, etc.) gives women more presence in the Old Testament by fleshing out fragmentary references to Lilith, Serach, Meroe (later known as Bityah), and the five daughters of Zelophehad. All are seen as courageous and strong minded: When Adam decides that only he will name animals, Lilith angrily moves to another part of Eden and Eve takes her place next to Adam; only Serach has the courage to tell her grandfather Jacob that Joseph is still alive; Bityah defies her father Pharaoh to draw baby Moses from the river; when the ``Daughters of Z'' learn that only men will own farms in the promised land, they steadily petition the chain of authority until God renders a different judgement. Lively dialogue and occasionally modern phrasing—``But You, God, do not play favorites''—give these new midrashim an informal tone, lighter and much more engaging than the sketchy entries in Yona Zeldis McDonough's Eve and Her Sisters: Women of the Old Testament (1994). Andersen's painted portrait figures are done in warm tones against mixed color blue and purple backgrounds enclosed, along with several text pages, in wide, pale frames. (Picture book. 8-11)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1995

ISBN: 1-879045-43-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Jewish Lights

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1995

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A useful if occasionally preachy introduction, this book would benefit from the inclusion of more specific details,...



To encourage tolerance, the photographer/authors want to help children understand similarities among Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Islam and Judaism.

The authors assume readers will be people of faith, not atheists or agnostics. After short descriptions of each religion, common themes, such as the Golden Rule, spiritual leaders, sacred texts, clothing, symbols, places of worship, worship acts (use of incense, candles, water, and prayer), charity and cherishing children are explored. The text can be very specific, mentioning branches of Judaism (Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist) without explaining the differences. (Sunni and Shiite Muslims are not delineated.) Activities will help children, teachers and parents think about religion in a comparative manner, although no sources or further reading are provided, which is a glaring omission. The attractive photos are often cropped into circular or curvilinear shapes and presented on brightly colored pages, giving the book the look of a magazine. Identified by religion but not by country, the photos were taken in the United States and eight other nations, including Mexico, Turkey and Vietnam. Interestingly, Israel and India, seemingly obvious choices, are not included. Captions would have been helpful for some photos such as a picture of a Muslim boy in a distinctive white cape and jeweled hat, which remains unexplained in the text.

A useful if occasionally preachy introduction, this book would benefit from the inclusion of more specific details, including holidays and eating customs. (glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 8-11)

Pub Date: March 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-55453-750-1

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Kids Can

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2012

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An exciting and thought-provoking evocation of a strong, brave young woman.



From the Called and Courageous Girls series

In a retelling of the story of Deborah taken from the Hebrew Bible, she emerges as thoughtful and trustworthy, with God’s words to guide her.

While on a hill overlooking her village, Deborah spots an army of chariots. She and her friends bravely rush to warn the villagers in time to escape. King Jabin, his general, Sisera, and his men destroy the village, but the people, including Deborah’s family, escape. The army continues to attack villages throughout the land, maintaining a reign of terror. Deborah definitely has God on her side, as he speaks directly to her, telling her that she has been chosen to lead her people to freedom. On God’s instructions the battle is joined with Deborah and the soldier Barak in the lead and with God’s intervention in the form of lightning, pouring rain, and floods. With their bravery and that of the Israelites, freedom is achieved. The authors employ accessible and poetic language to tell the tale, with careful attention to the characters and details as they appear in the Bible and with particular emphasis on Deborah’s faith in God. Elwell’s strongly hued illustrations capture the texture, light, action, and power of the tale. Deborah and the Israelites are depicted with dark hair and eyes and deep-toned swarthy skin color.

An exciting and thought-provoking evocation of a strong, brave young woman. (questions, author’s note) (Picture book/religion. 8-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7369-7371-7

Page Count: 49

Publisher: Harvest House

Review Posted Online: July 30, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

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