Rachel Kamin has been a synagogue librarian and Jewish educator for over twenty-five years and has worked at North Suburban Synagogue Beth El in Highland Park, IL since 2008, currently serving as the Director of Lifelong Learning. A past chair of the Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee and past editor of Book Reviews for Children & Teens for the Association of Jewish Libraries News & Reviews, her articles and book reviews appear in numerous publications. She has been a member of the American Library Association’s Sophie Brody Book Award Committee since 2021.
Ruth and Naomi
In the latest addition to her Bible story series (Daniel in the Lions’ Den, David and Goliath, Jonah and the Whale, Miriam and Her Brother Moses), Jean Marzollo simplifies the story of Ruth and Naomi, focusing on their journey to Bethlehem and Ruth’s marriage to Boaz. Marzollo cleverly employs field rabbits at the bottom of each page to provide commentary on the story, further explanations, and pose questions to the readers. She also creates a harvest song to the tune of “The Farmer in the Dell.” The story ends with the birth of Obed, who Marzollo explains was the father of Jesse, David’s father. The end page includes an illustration of Ruth and David with the rabbits’ dialogue: “Who’s that? David and his great-grandmother Ruth. Listen…can you hear her? She’s telling David how glad she is that long ago she chose to help Naomi.” Marzollo accurately places the story within the proper historical and biblical context, including a map illustrating Ruth and Naomi’s journey. As with the other books in the series, the message to children includes an introduction to the story and suggestions for reading the book aloud. This bright, cheerful, and creative book sheds light on an often neglected Bible story and will be a welcome addition in all libraries. And, as with the others, it will certainly appeal to young children. For ages 6 – 8.
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