Page 117 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 17 (1958-1959)

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AMER ICAN J EWI SH J UV EN I L E BOOKS
1958-1959
By
M
iriam
L
e ik in d
I
T IS the hallmark of progress to be discontented with things
as they are. Something within constantly prods us on toward
higher standards and greater productivity.
Undoubtedly, the aesthetic quality calculated to render our
Jewish juven ile books more attractive, stems from such a desire
for improvement. T h e beautiful format of some juveniles is a
delight to the eye. Numerous primary books are colorfully illus­
trated, and even those in black and white are being produced
with ever increasing elegance.
Covenant Books (published by the Jewish Publication Society
of America and Farrar, Straus and Cudahy) for the older boy
and girl are happily coming to the fore. They are now included
in many reading lists and are appearing on more book shelves.
These works, aimed at inspiring a love for books in the young
and at encouraging them to cultivate the reading habit, are a
boon to the juvenile field. T h e ir combination of attractiveness
and appealing content will, it is hoped, bring us many more
young readers.
T h e
Jewish Book Annual
contains a varied list of juveniles
that should whet the appetite of children. Americana, an area
somewhat new in Jewish books, are conspicuous on this list. They
deal with every-day life in America as it affects Jewish children,
depicting them at home and in school, at play and at study, with
family and with friends. The re are also books that portray present
day living in Israel and in other parts of the world where Jews
reside.
T e x t books and educational works are also becoming more
interesting and inviting. Through these works, created by skilled
authors, children are taught to live more affirmatively as Jews.
Th ey enable the children to integrate themselves in an harmon­
ious blending of the American and Jewish scenes that comprise
their environment. I f we succeed now in making them “children
of the book,” we need not be too much concerned about their
later becoming the “people of the book.” From this point of view,
there is special relevance in Robert H illyer’s quatrain:
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