The Aleph Bet Story

Lily & Diana Yacobi
  • Review
By – May 14, 2012

A book and accom­pa­ny­ing CD com­prise this primer on the Hebrew alpha­bet. Each let­ter or let­ter fam­i­ly receives a dou­ble page spread dis­play­ing a large, clear let­ter in a scene that empha­sizes some aspect of its shape or sound. For instance, het is shown being used as a hup­pah, as Sarah dreams about her wed­ding day, pro­vid­ing a mnemon­ic for the letter’s sound and shape. The CD’s mul­ti­ple nar­ra­tors recite the text and pro­vide amus­ing back­ground nois­es. The cast of char­ac­ters, Sarah, David, Ben, and Rachel, also appear in oth­er Hebrew cur­ric­u­lar mate­ri­als pro­duced by the same com­pa­ny. The chil­dren are dressed in casu­al mod­ern cloth­ing, includ­ing hood­ies and car­go pants, which are attrac­tive for the moment but may make the illus­tra­tions look dat­ed with­in a few years. Ben is always shown with a kip­pah, but David wears his intermittently. 

As a text­book, this book is nat­u­ral­ly some­what rep­e­ti­tious and slow paced, but the casu­al, col­or­ful art­work and the CD do much to breathe life into the les­son. Buy where Hebrew instruc­tion­al mate­ri­als are in demand. For ages 8 – 10.

Hei­di Estrin is librar­i­an for the Feld­man Chil­dren’s Library at Con­gre­ga­tion B’nai Israel in Boca Raton, FL. She is a past chair of the Syd­ney Tay­lor Book Award Com­mit­tee for the Asso­ci­a­tion of Jew­ish Libraries.

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