Page 218 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 25

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e w i s h
o o k
n n u a l
refreshingly childlike w ithout being sentimental or sticky. Nora
Kubie, a rare author and a fine historian, received the Isaac
Siegel Memorial Award for her
K in g So lom on ’s N a v y
York, Harper, 1954), an exciting Biblical adventure story.
Volume 14 (1956-1957) presented a bleak picture. Out of some
30 titles, “70% are Biblical, religious or educational . . . too
few center around fact or fiction or fantasy to fire the ch ild’s
imagination.” Miss Goldstein raised an interesting question in
her article. “How ,” she asks, “can Jewish writers who create
beautiful books in the general literature be persuaded to use
at least part o f their talent for Jewish books?” She answers her
own question by saying: “Give awards, give prizes, make it worth
their wh ile.” Th is may or may not do the trick; after all, a good
book must come from within. But when one writes a good book
it is gratifying to have it acknowledged in a concrete way; per-
haps the prize may prove to be an added incentive. It is good,
however, that people who wrote before prizes were awarded are
not forgotten; thus in 1956 the Isaac Siegel Memorial Award
and in 1957 the Temp le Bnai Jeshurun, (Newark, N. J.), Juve-
nile Award were fittingly presented to Sadie Rose Weilerstein
and Elma E. Levinger, respectively, for their “cumulative con-
tributions to Jewish juvenile literature.”
In volume 15 (1957-1958) the Dead Sea Scrolls provided a new
and welcome topic. Azriel Eisenberg’s
G rea t D iscovery
York, Abelard, 1956) and Alan Honour’s
Cave of R ich e s
York, McGraw-Hill, 1956) tell the exciting story of how the
Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered and rescued.
In volume 16 (1958-1959) Miss Goldstein was much encour-
aged. Among the 41 titles she found “improvement in quality,
in quantity and in depth of subject matter.” Biblical and religious
sources were still the basic reservoir, but she found that the
books “are projected with more expert variations,” that the
authors seem to have gained in literary stature and that “they
are integrated Americans who handle Jewish materials with a
more facile English.” Lloyd Alexander was awarded the Isaac
Siegel Memorial Award for his
B o rd e r H aw k : A u gu s t B o n d i
(New York, Farrar, Straus & Cudahy; Philadelphia, Jewish Pub-
lication Society, 1958), an American Civil War story. It would
seem to this writer that Sally Watson’s
T o B u i ld a L a n d
York, Holt, 1957) provided close competition, for this is truly
one of the best books about the European refugee child and the
early days in Israel.
Volume 17 (1959-1960) records a picture book for the pre-
schooler that meets the demand of the adults for subject matter
(prayers) and a commendable standard of art for the child. The
book is
T h e G o d A ro u n d Us
by Mira Brichto, illustrated by