Children and blessings

A fascinating book for children eight and up to learn a whole new aspect of Judaism.

By SYBIL KAPLAN
April 2, 2009 09:53
1 minute read.
Children and blessings

sun blessing book 88 248. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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The Yankee at the Seder By Elka Weber Ten Speed Press 40 pp. $16.99 The Sun's Special Blessing By Sandy Wasserman Pitspopany Press $17.95 Narrating this book is 10-year-old Jacob Josephson, who lives in Confederate Virginia with his parents and sister Minna and grandfather. General Robert E. Lee has just surrendered, and Pessah begins that night. Suddenly a Yankee soldier walks by and asks for a taste of the matza. Mrs. Josephson comes out to greet him and invites him to their Seder. Corp. Myer Levy is from Philadelphia and, as a Union soldier, he appreciated the southern family sharing their Pessah with him. The real story is told at the end of the book. Elka Weber was a history teacher and this is her first children's book. She lives in New Jersey. The oil painting-illustrations are by Adam Gustavson, illustrator of 13 other children's books, a painter and teacher in New Jersey. Children eight and up, and their parents too, will find this moving story, based on a real person, very interesting and a good source for some lively discussions on the issue of freedom. ONCE EVERY 28 years something special happens. The sun returns to the position it was when the universe was created. In this work, Mr. Jacobs, the third-grade teacher explains the idea to his class, in particular to two students, Adam and Talia. He explains that 28 years before, when he was a student, they buried a time capsule and the class is going to dig it up now. After exploring its contents, Mr. Jacobs introduces how this class will celebrate the occasion with the Birkat Hahama (Blessing of the Sun). The author explains in the end notes the special prayer recited every 28 years during the month of Nisan. Sandy Wasserman is a teacher in New York. Papercuts over painted backgrounds provide the illustrations by Ann D. Koffsky, a children's book illustrator who lives on Long Island, New York. This is a fascinating book for children eight and up to learn a whole new aspect of Judaism. It is also a great idea for either a family or a class to create a time capsule and bury it for 28 years.

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