Hansel and Gretel).
But modern readers, used to parental
honesty and openness, may feel this is
hardly a reason to have withheld the
truth from Sara.
Also, A Picture of Grandmother is per-
meated by an "everything is okay" tone
(conflicts are resolved in two seconds)
that gives it the gooey feeling of a Smurf,
which is hardly going to delight 12-year-
Shemot Muzarim (Strange Names) by
Shari Dash Greenspan, with illustrations
by Avi Katz. Copyright 2004, published
by Urim Publications (1-718-972-5449,
or www.urimpublications.com ).
Hardback. 32 pages. $12.
Though every thinking person has,
mercifully, long abandoned the theory,
"If you want him to learn how to swim,
just throw him in the water," there's
something to be said for jumping right
in when it comes to language.
If you want your children to learn
Hebrew, or they're in the midst of doing
so, consider helping them jump in by
giving them books in Hebrew — books
like this cute one, Shemot Muzarim.
There are a few challenges in Shemot
Muzarim, but for the most part these are
just fun, easy words and phrases that
children will love. It features plays on
the meanings of popular Hebrew names
("Mina,' means 'gentle' but sometimes
she's notrSimchi means 'happy' but he
cries a lot/ ... `Rafi' the 'doctor' can't fix
all your aches/`Effie' the `baker' makes
really weird cakes.") So there's lot of silli-
The illustrations are bright and color-
ful, which means this is a book children
will enjoy time and again. ❑
$10, 000 and above
$2,500 to $9,999
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The Ancient Israelites and Their
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Questions Jews Ask: A Young Adult's
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Birdlancl the story of a grieving fami-
ly, by Tracy Mack.
For older readers: Chanukah on the
Prairie by Burt Schuman and The
Moses Basket by Jenny Koralek.
For younger readers: When the
Chickens Lent Out on Strike by
W ere the Jewish
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