Page 127 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 54

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Fifty Years ofJewish
Children’s Books in the
Jewish Book Annual
1 9 4 2 - 1 9 5 2
I learned about Jewish children’s books when I volunteered to
start a Jewish children’s library for my synagogue in 1958.1had no
idea whether there were enough children’s books with Jewish con­
tent to stock such a library. In addition to publishers’ catalogs and
visits to jobbers of Jewish books, I was advised to consult the chil­
dren’s bibliographies in the
Jewish BookAnnual.
That was a pivotal
moment in my life, and I have been “hooked” on Jewish children’s
books and the
Jewish BookAnnual
ever since.
The first time that an article on English language Jewish chil­
dren’s literature appeared in the
Jewish BookAnnual
was Volume 5
(5707-1946/47) when Fannie Goldstein, a children’s librarian in
the Boston Public Library, wrote “The Jewish Child in Bookland,”
which included a long bibliography, “The Jewish Child’s Book­
shelf.”1It contained books published prior to 1946, making it pos­
sible to gain a perspective on Jewish children’s English language
publishing up to that time. In addition to titles about the Jewish re­
ligion, Bible, and legends, some good non-fiction works were list­
ed, including titles by Shulamith Ish-Kishor, Elma Ehrlich
Levinger, Howard Fast, and Solomon Simon’s version of
The Wise
Volume 1 o f the
Jewish Book Annual
(5703-1942/43) had Chaim Grant’s
Yiddish language article, “Appropriate Days for Presenting Children with Book
Gifts,” while Volume 3 (5705-1944/45) contained Yudel Mark’s “Yiddish Juvenile
Literature,” and Volume 4 (5706-1645/46), Eliezer Friedland’s Hebrew language
article “Children’s Literature in Palestine.”