Upbeat and visually appealing, this introduction to the Hebrew alphabet is based on a song intended to teach English speaking children the alef bet. The rhyming text is cheerful and light, utilizing many Hebrew words familiar to Jewish children attending religious or day schools. “Alef is for aba and ima. That’s a dad and a mom. Bet is my bayit, at home where I belong.”
Where possible, the large Hebrew letters are graphically incorporated into the illustrations, such as a dalet framing a delet (door). Some words contain the featured letter, but do not begin with the letter; those instances are reflected in the text: “Fay is in my sefer, the book that I must read.”
What make this book particularly inviting are the multi-textured collage illustrations in a warm palette of gold, orange, teal and avocado green. Featuring a redheaded girl and brown-haired boy, the illustrator has incorporated a variety of wood, fabric and wallpaper patterns that give the book a charming feel and invite a closer look.
At the end of the book is a brief note to parents and an invitation to download “The Alef Bet Song” app. However, it should be noted that recitation of the alef bet in the song is much too frantic for beginners, and should not be attempted before reading through the book a few times.
Recommended for ages 6 – 9.