Bookward bound

Booksellers and publishers gear up for Hebrew Book Week with a special focus on kids.

book fair 88 224 (photo credit: Courtesy)
book fair 88 224
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The People of the Book had better make room on their shelves: It's time again for Hebrew Book Week, when local publishers offer Hebrew titles at discounted prices nationwide. Although the event takes place annually, going one year does not exempt you from the next. According to a recent report by the National Library at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 7,860 new titles were published in Israel in 2007 alone, including books (5,850), periodicals (1,500) and albums - so there is a lot of new material to choose from. Impressively - or perhaps appropriately - 4,842 of the new books were published in Hebrew, 85 percent of which were written in Hebrew rather than translated from another language. Hebrew Book Week opens on May 28 and runs through June 7. The theme this year is "We are all the children of books," and events will therefore feature many activities for youth. In Tel Aviv, the book fair will return to Rabin Square and will host a "children's world" where puppet shows, musical storytelling, children's plays and children's writers will be featured. The Tel Aviv exhibit will also offer a display of miniatures in honor of Israel's 60th anniversary, and Tel Aviv's 100th. In Jerusalem, a "reading venue" will be set up where stories will be read out loud twice daily and children's musical actors will perform. On the west side of the country in Kfar Saba, there will be two main events daily during Hebrew Book Week: either a puppet show or kids' musical story time and a family-friendly show, like a circus or musical stand-up. Further south, Beersheba will offer storytelling and children's plays and in Sderot a giant doll will greet kids as they enter.