Page 21 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 6 (1947-1948)

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11
BLOCH ---- THE YEAR ’S BOOKSHELF
stressed. The stories deal with every day life of American boys
and girls; they are advantageously utilized to express Jewish
themes. Children will take considerable Purim delight in the use
of
Queen Esther
by Alexander S. Kohanski; illustrated by Jessie B.
Robinson (Lewiston, Me., Asko Press, 1946), a sumptuously
published Megillah in easy flowing rhyme with a description of the
characters and the plot based on rabbinic sources. Tales of Jews
in other lands as related by a one time Jewish globe-trotter are
presented in
Michael turns the globe
by Deborah Pessin, with
illustrations by Howard Simon (Cincinnati, Union of American
Hebrew Congregations, 1946). A fine collection of Jewish legends
and tales of religion, adventure and animals is
The magic ring and
other medieval Jewish tales
by Hyman Elias Goldin; illustrated by
Ernest R. Rook (New York, Hebrew Publishing Co., 1946).
An extraordinary fine children’s book is
Adventures in Palestine;
the search for Aleezah by Jud ith Ish-Kishor; illustrated by Marga-
ret Ayer (New York, Messner, 1947). I t is a beautifully written
story of courage, loyalty and self-reliance in which adventure and
travel are combined thus giving a vivid, albeit true picture of the
peoples, customs and folklore of Palestine today.
An English recension of an historical novel which for many years
enjoyed wide popularity especially among German Jews is
Out of
the depths
by M. Lehmann (Brooklyn, N. Y., Merkos L ’inyonei
Chinuch, 1947). I t has all the qualities of a Victorian story and is
the kind of story tha t will buttress the Jewish loyalties of every
Jewish child who is reared in a traditional Jewish environment.
I t has become a well-established custom in American fiction tha t
the annual output of novels includes a reasonable number of
volumes in which familiar biblical heroes and episodes are drawn
upon. Obviously they tend to enrich the ever-growing collection
of historical fiction of Jewish interest. This year’s output is rather
modest; it includes such a work as
The prince of Ur
by Mrs. Susa
Young Gates and Mrs. Leah Endora Duncan Widtsoe (Salt Lake
City, U tah, Bookcraft, 1946), a novel laid in the city of Ur of the
Chaldees. The colorful, exciting and moving story of Joseph is
skillfully woven in an interesting novel
Table in the wilderness
by
Norton S. Parker; illustrated by Joe Tillotson (Chicago, Ziff-
Davis, 1947) and in
Charioteer
> a story of old Egypt in the days
of Joseph by Gertrude Eberle (Grand Rapids, Mich., Eerdmans,
1946). Among the characters in the novel is also a bond-slave
who comes to believe in Joseph’s God. A novel in which Moses
is presented sympathetically as a human being, a man with
courage, foresight and great understanding of his people is
The
Exodus
by Konrad Bercovici (New York, Beechhurst, 1947)..
The story, told in simple and effective fashion as though by a