Mazel Tov! It’s a Boy / Mazel Tov! It’s A Girl

Jamie Korn­gold; Jeff Finkel­stein, illus.
  • Review
By – June 3, 2015

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.

Discussion Questions