JCH Book Fair – Ages 5-8 A Box of Candles - As Ruthie goes through her seventh year, celebrating Shabbat and other Jewish holidays by lighting candles from the box given to her by Grandma Gussie, her world changes. First, she meets Mr. Adler, a new neighbor, who begins spending time with her beloved grandmother. Soon she is jealous; then she is angry. But finally, as Passover gives way to Shavot, Yom Kippur to Sukkot, and then Hanukkah, Ruthie begins to appreciate the kind, old man, who helps her ride a bike, takes her fishing, and is wise enough to let her find her own way to accept him.
Abraham’s Search for God - Jules retells a midrash (a legend based on biblical text) in which the youthful Abraham discovers the concept of monotheism. Rejecting worship of unresponsive idols, Abraham spends time outdoors where he senses an unseen hand directing the movements of the moon, sun, storm, and rainbow. He concludes that "God is everywhere. God is in everything. God is something we know with our hearts." The story ends with the statement that "Today we remember Abraham as the father of three great religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam." As is often the case with biblical picture books, the storytelling is slightly formal. However, the energetic pastel illustrations are cheerful and warm, and their swirling motion eases any stiffness in the text. This simply told tale is an excellent introduction to the concept of monotheism, and would be a great discussion starter for talking about God. Its neutral stance makes it useful for readers of many faiths.—Heidi Estrin, Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel, Boca Raton, FL