Page 106 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 43

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94
JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
writings of developmental psychologists, or to researchers in
Children’s Literature.
For a story truly to hold the child’s attention, it must en­
tertain him and arouse his curiosity. But to enrich his life, it
must stimulate his imagination; help him to develop his in­
tellect and to clarify his emotions; be attuned to his anxieties
and aspirations; give full recognition to his difficulties,
while at the same time suggesting solutions to the problems
that perturb him. (Bettleheim, 1975, p.5)
A literature curriculum for children who will live in the
twenty-first century, who may travel in space to worlds be­
yond our own, needs to stress the place of difference and
multiplicity in life (Cullinan, 1981, p. 30)
I will return to this theme after an examination and discussion of
titles published during the past twenty-five years.
JEWISH CHILDREN’S BOOKS (1958-1983)
Each year the
Jewish Book Annual
contains an annotated bibliog­
raphy titled “American Jewish Juvenile Books,” or “Jewish Juve­
nile Books,” surveying the publications of the preceding year.
The attempt to include all titles of specific Jewish content, as well
as titles in which Jewish characterizations are found, is reasonably
inclusive, after testing it against reviews from
Booklist, School Li­
brary Journal, Horn Book,
and
Bulletin of the Center fo r Children’s
Books
over the past two years. For the purpose of this study, I
examined the appropriate sections during the years 1958-1983,
also considering the adult offerings for any titles that might serve
the reading interests of young people. In total, I considered 1150
titles, recasting them into the following subject categories:
Subject
Number o f Titles
Holidays, Prayer, Customs
275
Bible
175
World War II, Holocaust
131
Israel
118
Biography
101
History, Geography, Encyclopedias
100
Legends, Stories, Plays
90
Modern American Jewish Life
66
New York-Nostalgia
53
Other
49