Every­body Says Shalom

  • Review
By – May 20, 2015

This beau­ti­ful­ly illus­trat­ed pic­ture book intro­duces var­i­ous uses of the word Shalom — to say hel­lo, to say good­bye, and to say peace — and as a way of por­tray­ing Israel as a land of con­trasts, cul­tures, and cus­toms. It is also a book of oppo­sites, as Israel is a coun­try of oppo­sites — old and new, wet and dry. The text is rhyming and live­ly, and the love­ly illus­tra­tions, which are per­fect­ly coor­di­nat­ed with the text, are filled with vibrant col­or. A two-page end page called Around and about in Israel” adds inter­est­ing facts and his­tor­i­cal data on the sites men­tioned in the text as well as thumb­nail illus­tra­tions of each one. These age-appro­pri­ate facts help the young lis­ten­er under­stand what is being pre­sent­ed, for exam­ple, the ancient gates of Jerusalem, the fortress of Masa­da, Jerusalem’s Bib­li­cal Zoo, the Cha­gall Win­dows at the Hadas­sah Med­ical Cen­ter, the Dead Sea, and the mar­ket known as the shuk. Oth­er places men­tioned in the text include a kib­butz, the Kotel, the Bahai Shrine, the cat­a­combs, the Red Sea, and mod­ern Tel Aviv. The text is upbeat and gives a pos­i­tive feel to this tour of the coun­try. This is an excel­lent guide for learn­ing about Israel and for Yom Haatz­maut obser­vances and is also per­fect for learn­ing about coun­tries around the world in an ear­ly child­hood class­room. It is high­ly rec­om­mend­ed for ages 3 – 6 as a won­der­ful read-aloud in either a home or class­room setting.

Shelly Feit has an M.L.S. and a Sixth-year Spe­cial­ist’s Cer­tifi­cate in infor­ma­tion sci­ence. She is the library direc­tor and media spe­cial­ist at the Mori­ah School in Engle­wood, NJ.

Discussion Questions