Page 131 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 54

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referring to Leota Harris Keir’s
Freckle Face Frankel
(Coward-Mc-
Cann, 1959). Sydney Taylor’s
All-of-a-KindFamily Uptown
(Follet,
1958); and stories that showed Jewish children enjoying the holi­
days 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 holiday 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 inspiring quality biographies on
Jewish subjects from other publishers. There was better non-fic­
tion treatment of the Bible, prayer, Jewish holidays and Israel. As
for fiction, there were books of historical fiction, some holiday sto­
rybooks that were less simplistic than previous books in this genre,
and the first junior novel on inter-dating, Florence Chanock Co­
hen’s
Portrait ofDeborah
(Messner, 1961).
1 9 6 2 - 1 9 7 2
PI VOTAL ERA IN JEWI SH CHI LDREN’S BOOKS
Sophia N. Cedarbaum, the new bibliographer in 1962/63, com­
plained that she was able to list only 28 books with publishing dates
from 1961-1962 and noted that too many of the items were “for­
mulaic” (Cedarbaum, 1962/63). Actually, the sixties were a turning
point in Jewish children’s literature. The number of Jewish chil­
dren’s books published each year continued to increase—fluctuat­
ing between 30 and 40 plus books per year—and the range of
subjects broadened. While some books were still mired in the old
style, many books from this decade were filled with a new vitality.
Books on Israel, both fiction and non-fiction, dominated the
Jewish children’s book scene for the entire decade—46 were pub­
lished by trade and Jewish publishers during this period. Four of
the best books about Israel were: Louise Stinetorfs
The Shepherdof
Abu Kush
(John Day, 1962) and Thelma Nurnberg’s
My Cousin the
Arab
(Abelard-Schuman, 1965)—both wishful thinking about
Arab-Jewish relations in Israel; Lazio Hamori’s
Flight to the Prom­
ised Land
, about the Yemenite Jews being carried to Israel (trans­
123
Fifty Years ofJewish Children’s Books