Ruth and Naomi

Jean Mar­zol­lo
  • Review
By – August 6, 2012
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.

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.

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