Friday, March 19, 2010
Friday Finds: First Rain
The "Friday Finds" meme is hosted by MizB at the Should Be Reading blog. She asks "What great books did you hear about / discover this past week? Share with us your FRIDAY FINDS!"
I just had to participate because this very Friday morning I found a wonderful new book awaiting me in a package on my desk in the library: First Rain by Charlotte Herman, illustrated by Kathryn Mitter (Albert Whitman).
It's a simple, straightforward story about a little girl whose family makes aliyah (moves to Israel). Through the exchange of letters with the Grandma she left behind, we learn a little bit about Israel, a little Hebrew vocabulary, and a little about dealing with moving. It's not preachy, it's a good match with its intended audience of 1st through 4th graders in terms of emotion and writing style, and the illustrations are clean, detailed, and give a good sense of place. As is appropriate for the audience, politics are NOT included.
There are few picture books on the subject of making aliyah, and those of which I'm aware have to do with the airlift operations that rescued Ethiopian Jews. This is the first book I've seen that features a middle-class, non-Orthodox, North American Jewish child making aliyah. As a librarian in a Reform synagogue in South Florida, I know that this book will make sense to the readers I serve. My thanks to Charlotte Herman for filling a niche that so badly needed it!