Page 91 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 49

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SCHRAM / CURRENT COLLECTIONS OF JEWISH FOLKTALES
83
FOR YOUNGER READERS
A num ber o f collections are in tended mainly for older chil­
d ren o r young adults. Yet they are suited to an in tergenerational
audience, for they contain stories which can en tertain and en ­
lighten all ages. We shall draw attention to 7 such books that
belong on the storyteller’s shelf. They are listed in the o rd e r
o f the ir publication dates.
Th e first o f these books,
Who Knows Ten,
published in 1965
by the Union o f American Hebrew Congregations (95 p.), con­
tains 10 stories each dealing with the theme o f one o f the T en
Commandments. Each story is a gem, based on folktales and
talmudic stories, and written with a great deal o f originality by
au tho r Molly Cone.
Let’s Steal the Moon,
republished by Shapolsky in 1987 (85 p.),
is a collection o f 11 stories from both the Middle East and East­
ern Europe. They make use o f some o f the most popu lar folk­
tales, including legends o f Solomon, the Golem and Chelm, re ­
told by Blanche Serwer-Bernstein.
In
Sidrah Stories: A Torah Companion,
Steven M. Rosman has
selected one key sentence from the weekly T o rah portion, and
has adap ted the tales from traditional sources. He has retold
each in his own style to illustrate the chosen verse. This book
was published in 1989 by the Union o f American Hebrew Con­
gregations. (185 p.)
In
The Answered Prayer and Other Yemenite Folktales,
the au thors
Sharlya Gold and Mishael Maswari Caspi have retold traditional
tales b rough t by Jews arriving in Israel from Yemen via O p ­
eration Magic Carpet. Gold adap ted the tales for children which
Caspi had collected and translated. Some o f these traditional
tales are variants o f Eastern European tales, while others deal
specifically with the practices and spirit o f Yemenite life. T h e re
is also a glossary and a pronunciation guide to Yemenite names.
The volume, with dramatic pen and ink drawings by Marjory
Wunsch, was published by the Jewish Publication Society in 1990
(65 p.)
In
My Grandmother’s Stories: A Collection of Jewish Folktales,
Adele Geras frames ten folktales with a dialogue between the
g randm o the r and grandchild. Each story illustrates a particular
moral o r point. T h e au tho r has drawn heavily upon Ausubel’s
A Treasury o fJewish Folklore
for her material and has presen ted