Inside the Israel Muse­um: A Fam­i­ly Guide

Joy Richard­son
  • Review
By – January 16, 2012
Do you rec­og­nize Musi and Musa, the red, yel­low, blue, and green sculp­tur­al mas­cots that adorn the roof of the youth wing, and wel­come chil­dren to the Israel Muse­um in Jerusalem? These com­ic boy and girl fig­ures also scam­per through the bright 72 page intro­duc­tion to the muse­um. Fea­tur­ing bright pri­ma­ry col­ors, and con­struct­ed of high qual­i­ty, glossy paper, the book dis­plays a com­bi­na­tion of pho­tographs, dia­grams, and com­ic fig­ures. Page lay­out is spa­cious and invit­ing with lots of white space around images and print. The font used is sim­ple and leg­i­ble. Musi and Musa’s col­or­ful fig­ures and speech bal­loons add a light touch. A typ­i­cal dou­ble page spread shows pho­tographs of ancient coins and on the fac­ing page, one of an ancient glass jug. The text describes the objects, and asks ques­tions, which are answered on an answer page at the back of the book. Although the pub­li­ca­tion date is 2000, this guide is not, and will not be, out of date for a long time since it deals with the his­tor­i­cal and arche­o­log­i­cal arti­facts of the per­ma­nent col­lec­tion. The tone of the text is clear, fac­tu­al, and play­ful. It nev­er talks down to chil­dren. If con­nect­ing Amer­i­can chil­dren to Israel is your goal, or the goal of your school or syn­a­gogue library, you should have this guide­book. High­ly rec­om­mend­ed for chil­dren ages 6 – 12, their par­ents and teach­ers. This review­er searched for a source in the Unit­ed States, but found none. Order direct­ly from the Israel Muse­um at www​.imj​.org​.il
Nao­mi Morse man­aged a pub­lic library children’s room in Mont­gomery Coun­ty, Mary­land for many years, and then worked as head librar­i­an at the Charles E. Smith Jew­ish Day School Low­er School in Rockville, Mary­land. She has served on AJL’s Syd­ney Tay­lor Com­mit­tee, and last year (2008) was a mem­ber of ALA’s Calde­cott Com­mit­tee. She is an inde­pen­dent book reviewer.

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