Sleeping Bear Press has a fantastic series of alphabet books that covers such subjects as the library and Greek mythology. The format includes a short poem accompanied by beautiful illustrations, with a sidebar on each page that provides further detail about information in the poem. This alphabet book runs the gamut of Jewish history including bible stories (Abraham, David, and Noah), life cycle events and holidays, famous Jews like Albert Einstein and Marc Chagall, and things that are part of Jewish culture, like Ellis Island and Klezmer music. Some items are a little more obscure, like G for Golem, or O is for Oneg Shabbat. The richness of Jewish family life may best be illustrated by the C poem: “C could be the challah that my bubbe used to braid, or C could be the chicken soup, when I was sick, she made, or chocolate coins on Chanukah we added to our coffers. But I say C should be for chai, to “life” and all it offers.” While probably not for the Orthodox, it does cover a range of activities and information pertinent to all Jews. For the most part the rhymes are cute, with a combination of humor and information. While there are a few minor inaccuracies in some of the explanatory information, the positive feeling and overall coherence and presentation make for a book that is highly recommended. Ages 5 – 9
A is for Abraham
Kathe Pinchuck, M.L.I.S., is the librarian of Congregation Beth Sholom in Teaneck, New Jersey. She is currently the chair of the Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee of the Association of Jewish Libraries.
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