Page 92 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 50

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trade publishing of Jewish children’s books, including some
about Israel, e.g., Sally Watson’s
To Build a Land
(Holt, 1957).
That same year, the first co-publishing agreement between a
Jewish and trade publisher of children’s books was signed when
JPS announced that their Covenant Jewish biography series,
would be co-published with Farrar, Straus and Cudahy.
By 1957, there began to be published more books about
Jewish-American boys and girls living normal lives, such as Mina
Rachel and Herman
(Watts, 1957); and a Jewish chil­
d ren ’s reference book, Shengold’s one-volume
Junior Jewish En­
edited by Naomi Ben-Asher and Hayim Leaf, ap­
peared. Goldstein enthusiastically described the 1957 list as
showing a marked improvement in quality, quantity and depth
of subject matter. She was pleased that more American-born
authors were writing and attributed the books’ more graceful
language and improved literary techniques to this. She also liked
that publishers were encouraging the creation of more Jewish
juveniles, which she found were improved in accuracy and for­
mat, with more color and type variations (Goldstein, 1958/59).4
The succeeding bibliographer, Miriam Leikind, agreed that
“Americana” books dealing with everyday life in America as
it affected Jewish children were prominent in the list of books
published between 1958 and 1959 (Leikind, 1959/60). She was
referring to Leota Harris Keir’s
Freckle Face Frankel
McCann, 1959); Sydney Taylor’s
All of a Kind Family Uptown
(Follet, 1958); and stories that showed Jewish children enjoying
the holidays at home. By the following year, when Dorothy
Kripke took up the bibliographer’s duties, the number of books
had risen to 38 (including Norma Simon’s one dozen little hol­
iday books). Kripke, called it “a bumper crop” and said that
the list contained books with new approaches (Kripke, 1961/62).
The Covenant biography series was continuing and was inspir­
ing quality biographies on Jewish subjects from other publish­
ers. There was better non-fiction treatment of the Bible, Torah,
prayer, Jewish holidays and Israel. As for fiction, there were
books of historical fiction, some holiday storybooks that were
less simplistic than previous books in this genre, and the first
4. For an appreciation o f Fanny Goldstein, see Charles A ngo ffs article in
Jewish Book Annual,
Volume 20:70-72.