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December 02, 1994 - Image 98

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1994-12-02

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Artist Nancy Patz illustrated
a newly published Jewish
- holiday book.

For the chapter on
Passover, Nancy Patz's
Illustration shows a young
girl asking the Four


Roses and No Thumpin, No
Bumpin, No Rumpus Tonight!
The Family Treasury was writ-

ten by Malka Drucker, author of
15 children's books, most with

Treasure Trove







12 6

an.cy Patz wanted to
make it authentic. It
took her two years and
numerous trips to the
Walters Art Gallery in
Baltimore, the Library
of Congress in Wash-
ington, D.C., and the
British Museum in
London, England. But Ms. Patz
is satisfied that the illustrations
she created for a new book on the
Jewish holidays accomplish that
"I saw old Hebrew manu-
scripts as the basis for the art,"
said Ms. Patz, a Baltimore resi-
dent whose extensive research in
Jewish art and history inspired
her lively watercolors for the 180-
page hardcover The Family Trea-
sury of Jewish Holidays.

Published this fall by Little,
Brown and Co., the book is a de-
parture for Ms. Patz, a tall, slim,
stylish 60-ish who is best known
as a children's author and illus-
An art major at Stanford Uni-
versity in California, Ms. Patz
married (and divorced) and has
two grown daughters. She was
active in the Women's Division of
The Associated Jewish Commu-
nity Federation of Baltimore be-
fore embarking on her career.
Her start was tentative. "I sent
things to editors and they'd come
back," remembered Ms. Patz.
"And rightly so," she added, look-
ing back. "They just weren't
But Ms. Patz learned from the
rejections. She continued to work

on her own and, after an intensi-
fied course in writing and illus-
trating kids' books that, she said,
"crystallized ideas and taught me
what I needed to do," she tried
Nancy Pat is surrounded by her art
"I made a list of publishers
work in her studio.
whose books I liked — four or five
names. I figured that by some in-
tangible something, if I liked their joy." Interestingly, although they
books they'd like mine," she said. collaborated on the book, Ms.
In the end, she called the pub- Drucker and Ms. Patz never met.
lisher whose editor spelled her In fact, they never even talked to
first name like one of Ms. Patz's each other. Instead, as is often
the case, each dealt separately
"It was beshert. She bought my with the publishing company.
"Publishers try to keep authors
book," said Ms. Patz of Pumper-
nickel Tickle And Mean Green and illustrators on separate con-
Cheese, published in 1978. All tinents because authors have spe-
told, Ms. Patz is responsible for cific ideas of how their book
seven children's books, including should look," Ms. Drucker ex-
Moses Supposes His Toeses Are plained.


Jewish themes. Originally, it was
supposed to be a collection of Ms.
Drucker's favorite Jewish chil-
dren's stories, from K'tonton to
Isaac Bashevis Singer.
But as Ms. Drucker worked on
the book, that idea changed. "I
started writing some of the ma-
terial myself, then added other
elements," said Ms. Drucker, who
lives in Santa Fe, N.M.
The end result, continued Ms.
Drucker, is an "all-inclusive
book." The Family Treasury is in-
tended as a resource for families
to celebrate Shabbat and the hol-
idays, from Rosh Hashanah to
Yom HaShoah. Each chapter con-
tains an explanation, a folk tale
or two, holiday-related recipes
and songs, and how-to instruc-
tions for activities and crafts.
Ms. Drucker is thrilled with
the illustrations, which she
thinks have depth and "a lot of

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