Page 95 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 50

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POSNER/ FIFTY YEARS OF JEWISH CHILDREN’S BOOKS
87
The sixties were the fount of what would come to be a stream
in the seventies, and a mighty river in the eighties — folktales
in picture-storybook format. It started when Isaac Bashevis
Singer, author of a second collection of folktales for children,
Zlateh the Goat and Other Stories,
illustrated by Maurice Sendak,
published two more folktales in 1967 —
The Fearsome Inn
(Scribner’s) and
Mazel and Shlimazel
(Farrar, Straus
8c
Giroux).
Instead of these books being bound in a 5” x 7” format with
a few black and white illustrations, they were presented in gen­
erous picture-storybook format, gorgeously illustrated — the
first by Nonny Hogrogian and the second by Margot Zemach.
They started a trend that is stronger than ever. During the fol­
lowing years, there appeared such picture-storybook gems as:
Shimon Balas’s
The Shoes of Tanboury
(Sabra, 1969); Aline Glas­
gow’s
Pair of Shoes,
illustrated by Symeon Shimon (Dial, 1969);
Sharlya Gold’s
The Potter’s Four Sons,
illustrated by Jules Maidoff
(Doubleday, 1969); and Marilyn Hirsh’s
Where is Yonkela?
(Crown, 1969) — the first of her many wonderful picture-
storybooks.
Four more children’s encyclopedias were published during
the decade:
The New Jewish Encyclopedia,
edited by David
Bridger, et. al. (Behrman, 1962);
A New Concise Jewish Encyclo­
pedia,
edited by Abraham Burstein (Ktav, 1962); Harry Cohen’s
A Basic Jewish Encyclopedia
(Hartmore House, 1965); and
Ency­
clopedia ofJews in Sports
(Bloch, 1965), edited by Bernard Postal,
et al.
1972-1982: FROM
‘MELTING P O T TO ‘NEW PLURALISM
During this decade, the Jewish children’s book field grew even
stronger, gaining increased respect in the general world of chil­
d ren ’s books. Totals for each year ranged from 33 to as high
as 71, with a median figure of 40 books and an average figure
of 44 books per year, for the period from 1972-1982. The Civil
Rights Movement in the sixties, and the search for “roots” in
the seventies was eagerly adopted not only by American Jews
and other ethnic groups, but also by the American media, and
the educational establishment. The “Melting Pot” was succeeded
by the “New Pluralism.” Books featuring ethnic and religious
groups provided an even broader marketplace for publishers.
Jewish identity became a
bona-fide
subject, an essential part of