In the Days of Sand and Stars

Mar­lee Pinsker; Fran­cois This­dale, illus.
  • Review
By – November 11, 2011

Mar­lee Pinsker relates these tales about ten Bib­li­cal women in the style of midrash, “ weav­ing sto­ries into the areas in which the text is silent, giv­ing voic­es to the peo­ple we want to under­stand.” She says in this way we imag­ine our­selves into the words of the Bible and bring its mean­ing for­ward, into our own lives.” Her skill­ful writ­ing brings her char­ac­ters to life and makes these women seem real. There are chap­ters about Eve eat­ing the apple, Noah’s wife Naamah, and Sarah, who is amazed to find her­self preg­nant at the age of nine­ty and laughs at the mir­a­cle. We also read about Rebec­ca, Leah, Rachel, Dina and final­ly, Moses’ moth­er, Yochaved. We expe­ri­ence Dina weav­ing Joseph his coat of many col­ors, and Yochaved as a child, before she is the moth­er of Moses, forced to work gath­er­ing straw for bricks while hear­ing her nurse’s sto­ries about her peo­ple before they were Pharoah’s slaves. 

This­dale com­bines tra­di­tion­al draw­ing and paint­ing tech­niques with dig­i­tal tech­nol­o­gy to cre­ate mul­ti-tex­tured images, which give his illus­tra­tions a dreamy, ethe­re­al qual­i­ty and com­pli­ment the sto­ries beau­ti­ful­ly. The author’s lyri­cal use of lan­guage makes this illus­trat­ed book a nat­ur­al to read-aloud. The book suc­cess­ful­ly con­nects the lives of these Bib­li­cal women who lived in the days of sand and stars,” to each oth­er and to our lives today. Remem­ber this book the next time a Bat Mitz­vah gift is needed. 

Ages 10 and up. 

Andrea David­son is the librar­i­an of The Tem­ple-Tifer­eth Israel in Beach­wood, Ohio. She holds an M.L.S. from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Michi­gan and is a for­mer mem­ber of the Syd­ney Tay­lor Book Awards Com­mit­tee. She enjoys try­ing out the books she reviews on the kids at the Tem­ple and on her grandchildren.

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