The Jewish Eye
Jonathan and the Waves
Jonathan and the Waves
By Shira Sheri
Illustrated by Shira Sheri
English - Hebrew Bilingual Edition
Milk & Honey Press, 2006
Reviewed by Anna Dogole - October 27, 2011
Where is G-d? Is he in the sky? In the ocean? In people? Where is he and how do you explain something so intangible, yet so real, to a young child? Jonathan and the Waves asks and answers the question, "Where is G-d?" in a way that even the pre-schoolers can understand. Written and illustrated by Shira Sheri, Jonathan and the Waves is, on its surface, a typical children's book for the below eights. It is full of bright cheery illustrations and starts out with an Israeli family enjoying the day on one of Israel's marvelous sand beaches that hug the Mediterranean coast. Jonathan wants to go swimming in the ocean, but he is afraid of the waves. What is he to do?
He asks his mom to come in the water with him, but she cannot as she is nursing Jonathan's youngest sister. So he asks dad. Dad is relaxing, and isn't interested in going into the water just yet. So he asks his big sister Gali, whose already in the water, to come to the shore and escort him in. She however, is too busy playing and tells him to ask G-d for help.
Thus begins Jonathan's quest to locate G-d and in the process he overcomes his fear of the ocean's waves.
Jonathan and the Waves is a wonderful read-out-loud book that will have your kids asking to hear it over and over again. It is also an excellent book for new readers - of either English or Hebrew. This is because Jonathan and the Waves is a bilingual book that contains the original Hebrew text of the story along with an English translation on the facing pages.
The author, Shira Sheri, lives in Pardes-Hana, Israel and Jonathan and the Waves is one of the three bilingual Hebrew/English books that have been published by the Milk and Honey Press. Although the actual stories in all three books are geared toward children ages 2-8, all these books are also ideal study aids for students of all ages learning modern Hebrew. As such, these books can be used in both home and school settings. You can also find, on the Milk & Honey website, a wealth of resources for teachers and parents, including curriculum guides keyed to these books.
Milk and Honey Press books are distributed by, and can be ordered online from, EKS Publishing Company.
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