Fans of flip picture books, k’vel! Here is a well thought out, useful, warm, happy picture book with a sound life-cycle topic. Excellent photographs and sweetly chronological events capture the thrilling experience of welcoming a new baby, one way for girls, flip! the other way for boys, each version meeting in the middle with the same concluding photograph. Ceremonies for enfolding a new child into Judaism differ on a gender basis by religious tradition. Here they each end up in at-home celebrations, named (nicely in Hebrew and English), included in community, blessed and rejoiced. Family and festivities arrive through the eyes of the older sister who is equally as happy with a new baby sister as a new baby brother. Large, sharp, colorful, mobile, active photographs capture the emotional response of everyone as the older sister considers the new baby and the steps of her/his ceremony. Both stories cover pregnancy, hospital delivery, and cute but talentless newborns, climaxing in the cuddly adorable one’s draw to friends and relatives for the brit bat or brit milah. Extended family members travel long distances to share the milestone moment, arriving from Israel and New York. How grand to find a quality, upbeat read with content of value that teaches and entertains. Mazel Tov to author Korngold and photographer Finkelstein who shine again. Recommended for ages 2 – 8 to learn and to their parents and grandparents for memories.
Ellen G. Cole, a retired librarian of the Levine Library of Temple Isaiah in Los Angeles, is a past judge of the Sydney Taylor Book Awards and a past chairperson of that committee. She is a co-author of the AJL guide, Excellence in Jewish Children’s Literature. Ellen is the recipient of two major awards for contribution to Judaic Librarianship, the Fanny Goldstein Merit Award from the Association of Jewish Libraries and the Dorothy Schroeder Award from the Association of Jewish Libraries of Southern California. She is on the board of AJLSC.