The Adven­tures of Bel­la and Har­ry: Let’s Vis­it Jerusalem!

Lisa Manzione; Kris­tine Luc­co, illus.
  • Review
By – February 13, 2014

This is the tenth title in a pic­ture book series that fol­lows the adven­tures of two Chi­huahuas, Bel­la and Har­ry, as they trav­el with their fam­i­ly to explore cities of the world. The author states that the pur­pose of these books is to help young read­ers gain an appre- cia­tion of the world’s cul­tur­al diver­si­ty as they learn about each coun­try’s cus­toms, his­to­ry, land­marks and cui­sine. In Jerusalem, they vis­it Masa­da, the West­ern Wall and the Old City. They sam­ple local cui­sine (such as shawar­ma and knafeh) and learn basic Hebrew phrases.

Manzione refers to the Jew­ish faith rather than the Jew­ish reli­gion. She calls the West­ern Wall (the Kotel”) a large, open air syn­a­gogue (a place where peo­ple of the Jew­ish faith go to wor­ship)” and can hold thou­sands of wor­ship­pers. Each day prayers take place both day and night for wor­ship­pers of the Jew­ish faith. It is impor­tant to know that every faith is wel­come to join the wor­ship­pers and say their prayers silent­ly if they want to.”

There are dou­ble-page-spread full col­or illus­tra­tions and the infor­ma­tion is clear­ly and acces­si­bly pre­sent­ed but the cutesy illus­tra- tions of the dogs makes the book seem as if it is geared for a younger audi­ence than the infor­ma­tive text.

The book ends with a list of words and phras­es in both Hebrew and Eng­lish. Rec­om­mend­ed for ages 5 – 7.

Andrea David­son is the librar­i­an of The Tem­ple-Tifer­eth Israel in Beach­wood, Ohio. She holds an M.L.S. from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Michi­gan and is a for­mer mem­ber of the Syd­ney Tay­lor Book Awards Com­mit­tee. She enjoys try­ing out the books she reviews on the kids at the Tem­ple and on her grandchildren.

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