Noted Israeli author David Grossman has taken his extraordinary talent for sensitively reaching deep into hearts and souls, demonstrated for many years through his adult fiction, and has now shown that he can reach into a child’s heart, as well. Poetically translated from the original Hebrew, we follow young Ben and his mother as they walk through a field one afternoon talking about what makes Ben so very special. If you are unique and special, are you all alone in the world, asks Ben, with a quiet but deep con- cern. But his mother knows, as mothers often do, how to reassure her child that being one of a kind need never mean being all on your own. The language is lyrical and spare but filled with universal truth; the art, also spare, just grays with a hint of color, is perfect for enhancing story and mood. Though the publisher’s suggested age range is 3 and up, the language and drawings combine into a work of art that provokes thought and discussion for any age and any stage.
Michal Hoschander Malen is the editor of Jewish Book Council’s young adult and children’s book reviews. A former librarian, she has lectured on topics relating to literacy, run book clubs, and loves to read aloud to her grandchildren.