The Jewish Eye
Written and Illustrated by Amalia Hoffman
Gefen Publishing House: Jerusalem and New York, (2007 / 5767)
Reviewed by Anna Dogole - August 3, 2007
Based on a story by Sholom Aleichem, Purim Goodies is a delightful tale about a village in Stanislavka, where the residents are in the process of giving each other shalach manes (gifts of food which are distributed during Purim). The story centers around Groyseh (Big) Adella and Kleineh (Small) Adella. Each is employed by the wife of a local Rabbi. The girls meet one day while they are bringing shalach manes to each other's employers. They stop and investigate what each has on their tray. What begins as a quick peek soon takes a wrong turn as they begin to sample the gifts. When the half-eaten trays are finally delivered, oy vey! The two Rebitzins (the Rabbi's wives) each thinks that her counterpart has sent her a half-eaten tray of goodies on purpose, and both have stop talking to each other. How can this mix-up ever be straightened out? You'll have to read the book to see...
Purim Goodies is a children's picture book that will not only help encourage young children to read with its lively story, but which will also teach them a bit about Purim. (Purim is a Jewish holiday that commemorates the victory of the Jews over Haman, an evil man who wanted to destroy all the Jews of Persia). The story is captivating, and best of all, it is a perfect read aloud book that you can share with pre-readers - over and over again!
Written and illustrated by Amalia Hoffman, this book will delight children of all ages. Hoffman is an award winning illustrator who grew up in Israel. She is also the illustrator of Friday Night With the Pope by Jacques J. M. Shore, which was also published by the Gefen Publishing House. The illustrations in this book have an old-world, folksy feel, and they have lots of quirks (such as houses whose windows make them look like faces) to interesting sights for the children to hunt for. Examples include a fiddler on a roof and a chicken reading a Jewish Cookbook! In addition to these wonderful illustrations and an engaging story, Hoffman has also included a brief overview of the Purim holiday, a recipe for Hamantaschen along with the recipe for Prune and Poppy Seed fillings, and a glossary of the Yiddish terms used in the story.
After reading Purim Goodies, be sure to check out Hoffman's website at www.amaliahoffman.com to learn more about the author and her work.
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- Friday Night with the Pope
, by Jacques J. M. Shore.
A children's book about an eleven-year-old Jewish boy, and his mother, who are invited to have a Shabbat dinner with the Pope. (Illustrated by Amalia Hoffman)
- Yom Kippur Children's Machzor
, by Noam Zimmerman.
An innovative Yom Kippur prayer book designed to introduce young children to the prayers and concepts of Yom Kippur. Illustrated with enlightening clay sculptures created by a thirteen-year-old artist.
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