Page 97 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 50

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POSNER/ FIFTY YEARS OF JEWISH CHILDREN’S BOOKS
89
the families, their attitudes, customs, and concerns were Jewish
— as in Miriam Chaikin’s
I Should Worry, I Should Care
(Harper,
1979), and Barbara Girion’s
A Tangle of Roots
(Scribner’s 1979).
PICTURE-STORYBOOKS
The publishing of beautiful full-color picture-storybooks that
had begun in the sixties, continued into the seventies. Not only
did Marilyn Hirsh produce another picture-storybook each
year, but her
Ben Goes Into Business
(Holiday, 1973) pioneered
the use of picture-storybook format for themes like “immigra­
tion” and “acculturation” once used only in books for older chil­
dren. Barbara Cohen entered the Jewish children’s market with
her
The Carp in the Bathtub
(Lothrop, 1972) and has been de­
lighting readers ever since. Artists and authors continued to
mine traditional Jewish literature for inspiration as, for instance,
Uri Shulevitz (
The Magician,
Macmillan, 1972) and Carol Chap­
man and Arnold Lobel (
The Tale of Meshka the Kvetch,
Dutton,
1980). With
The House on the Roof,
illus. by Marilyn Hirsh (He­
brew Publishing, 1976), David Adler introduced the first holiday
story with literary merit that contained as many large illustra­
tions as a picturebook.
Clearly, the seventies could also be known as the decade of
holiday craft and activity books and the beginning of Jewish
holiday non-fiction series, such as Joyce Becker’s
Jewish Holiday
Crafts
(Bonim/Hebrew Publishing, 1977). In 1978, Margery
Cuyler wrote
Jewish Holidays
(Holt), which had not only crafts
and activities, but also delved into the historic backgrounds of
nine holidays. A forerunner of many holiday series that would
follow, this book is unusual in that it was written by a non-Jew
and published by a trade publisher. Over the years, series of
distinguished holiday books were written by Malka Drucker
(Holiday), Miriam Chaikin (Clarion) and by various authors for
Kar-Ben, including its owners, Saypol Groner and Wikler.
The pre-immigration and immigration periods continued to
be sources of inspiration to authors, resulting in non-fiction
books such as: Milton Meltzer’s
World of Our Fathers
(Farrar,
1974); and novels like Chaya Burstein’s
Rivka
books (Hebrew
Publishing), Marietta Moskin’s
Waiting for Mama
(Coward,
McCann, 1975); and Anita Heyman’s
Exit from Home
(Crown,
1977). The period of acculturation, set in the 1930s and 1940s,