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The Adventures of Rabbi Harvey

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The Adventures of Rabbi Harvey

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The Adventures of Rabbi Harvey
A Graphic Novel of Jewish Wisdom and Wit in the Wild West
By Steve Sheinkin
Jewish Lights Publishing, (2006)
ISBN: 978-1-58023-310-1

Reviewed by Auggie Moore - April 27, 2011

The Adventures of Rabbi Harvey is the first book in a series of graphic novels written by Steve Sheinkin. This installment introduces the reader to Rabbi Harvey, a Rabbi who trained back East and who now lives in the town of Elk Spring, Colorado, where it seems, everyone is Jewish. The novel is set way back in the 1870's when the west was still wild. Like a Rebbe from the old country, Rabbi Harvey disperses wisdom via stories based on Jewish folktales, Hasidic wisdom, and Talmudic lore. Sheinkin uses the same source for the stories that he tells within the pages of his graphic novels.

The ten stories in The Adventures of Rabbi Harvey run the gamut from the Rabbi convincing a young man who thinks he's a chicken that he isn't to tricking some dastardly criminals into confessing their crimes. All these stories are funny, ranging from laugh out loud to simply cute, and all are delightful to read. Rabbi Harvey is a great role model for young readers who may love stories of the wild west but who find it difficult to find stories that contain Jewish heros, despite the fact that, comparatively speaking, there were an uncommonly large number of Jewish cowboys in the American wild west, and throughout South America.

I'm not sure how to describe the art work used throughout this novel. The drawings are not quite pen and ink drawings, but neither are the typical overly colorized action packed illustrations that you find in many graphic novels. Rather they are mostly orange and black in coloring (might sound awful, but they are really quite pleasing), with the figures clearly defined and their actions easy to recognize. Most important, the text is easy to read! It's not overly large, but the lettering is clear and distinct making it perfect for both new readers and those with tired eyes to enjoy these stories, as well as everyone else in-between.

One of the most unique features of The Adventures of Rabbi Harvey, is that it is a comic book that you will encourage your children to read. Not only are these stories uniquely Jewish, but they also teach traditional Jewish values, in an unintrusive manner, and they also instill moral lessons without being preachy. So get your hands on a copy of this novel, sit back and follow the adventures of Rabbi Harvey, witness the myriad of questions that people pose to him and be amazed at his rapid fired and spot-on answers. The west will never be the same again...

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