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.
Everybody Says Shalom
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.
Jewish literature inspires, enriches, and educates the community.
Help support the Jewish Book Council.