Page 100 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 50

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JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
and Jews (Barbara Cohen’s
The Secret Grove
(Lothrop, 1985) and
Ann Morris’s and Lily Rivlin’s
When Will the Fighting Stop?
(Ath-
eneum, 1989), a photo-essay (picture-storybook illustrated with
photographs).
The area of greatest growth is seen in holiday books. The
number of books published about the holidays has grown from
a mere 7 from 1970-1975, to 23 from 1975-1980, to 43 from
1980-1985, to 93 from 1985-1991, with 1991 having 19 holiday
books. Between 1970 and 1991, at least 166 holiday books were
published — most of them picture-books or picture-storybooks.
There is no longer a lack of “faction” books that use a story
to teach the facts of the holiday and even their quality has im­
proved. For a while, though, it was difficult to find a good story
that was simply set during the holiday and used one or two
elements from it. The good news is that now we have many.
Two of the best were published by Holiday House in 1990 and
1989. Eric Kimmel’s and Giora Carmi’s
The Chanukah Guest,
ap­
pears to be an original tale on an old theme, and Kimmel’s
and T rina Schart Hyman’s
Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins,
combines the tale of Hershel, the
luftmensch
from Ostropol, with
elements of a well-known ghost story from general children’s
literature. Even the babies can have their holiday books. Kar-
Ben is among those that have produced holiday board books
for toddlers and picture-storybooks for ages four to eight.
BIBLE TALES
Bible stories once
were
Jewish children’s literature. Although
they no longer form the core of the annual Jewish children’s
bibliography, they are still very popular, appearing either in
collection or as picture-storybooks. Noah and Jonah stories are
most plentiful; tales about Moses, Joseph, Adam and Eve, the
Tower of Babel, and Genesis, Daniel and Esther, follow. During
1970-1991, there were 99 Bible stories published. These include
4 collections for ages twelve-up, one of which is
Miriam’s Well:
Stories about Women in the Bible
by Alice Bach and J. Cheryl Exum
(Delacorte, 1991). The only other Bible stories about women
are those in Marlee Alex’s Outstanding Women of the Bible
Series (Eerdman’s, 1987). Also, Lynne Reid Banks once wrote
a young adult novel about women in the Bible, called
Sarah
and After,
that was very good, if quite imaginative. The best