South African illustrator Judy Daly provides a South African setting for the familiar lines from Ecclesiastes. Daly’s interpretations of the text are somewhat subtle, perhaps even arbitrary. The tiny details of the illustrations are not easy to make out. As a whole, the pictures are somewhat static and do not effectively bring the concepts in the text to life. This book is unsuitable for Judaic libraries in any case. The text is taken from the King James Bible, but more importantly, the illustration for “A time of war,” shows a hillside covered with cross-shaped grave markers. Pass this one by, and get an extra copy of Turn, Turn, Turn by Pete Seeger or To Every Thing There is a Season by Leo & Diane Dillon. Ages 7 – 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.