Marc Lumer, Chaim Burston, DovBer Naiditch

  • Review
By – March 23, 2017

Once the world was young, and the peo­ple spoke one com­mon lan­guage. The pop­u­la­tion grew, and the val­ley they lived in got crowd­ed. So the peo­ple moved to a new spot, a big­ger spot, and began to build a city. They envi­sioned at the town’s cen­ter a tow­er so tall it would pro­tect them from future floods, so tall it would reach God in the heav­ens. But as the tow­er grew, so, too grew their pride. As the Bible sto­ry goes, God took note of their arro­gance and pun­ished them. He changed their com­mon tongue to a wide vari­ety of dif­fer­ent lan­guages — Eng­lish, Hebrew, French, and so on, ensur­ing that neigh­bor could no longer com­mu­ni­cate with neigh­bor. Con­struc­tion came to a halt, and peo­ple sad­ly went their sep­a­rate ways, the tow­er for­got­ten and the chal­lenge to God for­got­ten. Babelis a beau­ti­ful book. The text is just the right mix of light­heart­ed­ness and seri­ous­ness; the warn­ing about human hubris goes down eas­i­ly. The car­toon-style illus­tra­tions and design man­age to be both charm­ing­ly old-fash­ioned and per­fect­ly con­tem­po­rary. This is a ter­rif­ic choice for any­one look­ing for a Bible sto­ry retelling.

Rec­om­mend­ed for ages 4 – 7.

Leslie Kim­mel­man grew up out­side Philadel­phia and grad­u­at­ed from Mid­dle­bury Col­lege in Ver­mont. She is the author of many children’s books, awards for which include Best Children’s Books of the Year from the Bank Street Col­lege of Edu­ca­tion; Notable Children’s Trade Books in the Field of Social Stud­ies; and Syd­ney Tay­lor Notable Books. Kim­mel­man is an edi­tor at Sesame Work­shop and lives with her fam­i­ly just north of New York City.

Discussion Questions