Skip to main content

Hebrew books we’re enjoying…

I have trouble enjoying most Israeli kids’ books because either the language is too hard or the illustrations are – let’s be honest – kind of weird.

This series suffers a little from the “weirdness.”  I’m not sure what it is… the pictures can be realistic enough, but sometimes, it’s partly that they are too realistic.  Too many details around the fingers and chin makes illustrations kind of creepy, somehow.  Or else the illustrations are meant to be simplistic and cartoony but just end up somehow off, at least to my snobby North American eyes.  There are so many talented Jewish artists… Israel must be crawling with them.  Why do they choose people to illustrate kids’ books who don’t even seem to have the basics down?

temp_kissforbearAnyway,  I have tried to find ones I like before, but never really succeeded, which is why I often end up with English books in translation (like Dr. Seuss and the “Dubi-Dov” books, which are lovely translations of Elsa Holmlund Minarik’s Little Bear stories), and illustrated by Maurice Sendak.  We’re also reading “Eretz Yitzurei HaPereh” – Where the Wild Things Are; just in time for the movie release!

So this series is in Hebrew, by Yael Arnon Vered, and they are easily among the more tolerable ones I’ve found.  We’ve taken the first two shown here, Or Soferet Kama (Or Counts How Many) and Or Shoelet Lama (Or Asks Why), out from the library so far.  The Hebrew is easy and rhymes uncloyingly, and the illustrations are usually sweet, though they do veer off a little into weirdness.

temp_or2 temp_or3temp_or  temp_or4

I loved that in the “Lama” book, the mother is explicitly drawn nursing Yoavi, Or’s little brother.  Or asks why he has to nurse… and the answer is, “because he’s hungry!”  Of course that’s why.  (the illustration for that one is a little weird, however; the baby seems disproportionate and a little older than in the previous picture of him).

However, also in “Or Shoelet Lama,” one page features a picture of a huge, weird cartoonish rabbit with a scarf around its neck.  The question asks, “Why does the rabbit sneeze?”  And the answer, of course, is because he left the door open, as in the classic godawful sneezing-rabbit song, HaShafan HaKatan.  But my English-speaking children have never heard this song.  I suppose they don’t care too much, but this reference to a song I have never enjoyed irritates me.

Naomi Rivka really seems to enjoy the main character of Or, who she says is “probably four years old.”  With brown hair and ponytails, she looks a tiny bit like Naomi (but chubbier).  To my eye, and probably to a Hebrew-speaking child, she and her questions would likely seem a bit younger, but I’m happy that Naomi can relate to her.

Beyond the pictures and the language, I like seeing how all of Or’s unceasing questions are happily encouraged by her loving parents, and the books (at least the ones we’ve seen so far) culminate with Or happily swaddled and cherished in her happy home.  I’m looking forward to finding and enjoying the other two with my kids.

Popular posts from this blog

לימודי קודש/Limudei Kodesh Copywork & Activity Printables

Welcome to my Limudei Kodesh / Jewish Studies copywork and activity printables page.  As of June 2013, I am slowly but surely moving all my printables over to 4shared because Google Docs / Drive is just too flaky for me. What you’ll find here: Weekly Parsha Copywork More Parsha Activities More Chumash / Tanach Activities Yom Tov Copywork & Activities Tefillah Copywork Pirkei Avos / Pirkei Avot Jewish Preschool Resources Other printables! For General Studies printables and activities, including Hebrew-English science resources and more, click here . For Miscellaneous homeschool helps and printables, click here . If you use any of my worksheets, activities or printables, please leave a comment or email me at Jay3fer “at” gmail “dot” com, to link to your blog, to tell me what you’re doing with it, or just to say hi!  If you want to use them in a school, camp or co-op setting, please email me (remove the X’s) for rates. If you just want to say Thank You, here’s a

Ancient Auction Secret: If Chinese auctions are racist, why do Jews love them so much?

Ah, Jews, Jews, Jews, Jews.  You sure do love your Chinese auctions, don’t you? It seems that even in an era of political correctness, within certain circles, this term just will not die . And frankly, I’m mortified. I’m not Chinese, but I have family who is Chinese.  Some are Korean, as well.  I guess this makes us more ethnically diverse than many Jews, but I suspect most Jewish families are moving in this direction.  Still.  Even if we don’t know a single Chinese person, we should still stop calling it that. First of all… is it actually racist to call it a Chinese auction? I figured I’d let Chinese people decide.  But when I turned to Google to find out how Chinese people feel about Chinese auctions, what I found was mostly… nothing.  Silence.  I did find some debate (presumably among non-Chinese people) over whether it was too far in the direction of political correctness to refer to these as a “silent auction” or (as in some parts of the States) a “tricky tray.”  (Ok

Hebrew/ עברית & English General Studies Printables

For Jewish Studies, including weekly parsha resources and copywork, click here . If you use any of my worksheets, activities or printables, please leave a comment or email me at Jay3fer “at” gmail “dot” com, to link to your blog, to tell me what you’re doing with it, or just to say hi!  If you want to use them in a school, camp or co-op setting, please email me (remove the X’s) for rates. If you enjoy these resources, please consider buying my weekly parsha book, The Family Torah :  the story of the Torah, written to be read aloud – or any of my other wonderful Jewish books for kids and families . English Worksheets & Printables: (For Hebrew, click here ) Science :  Plants, Animals, Human Body Math   Ambleside :  Composers, Artists History Geography Language & Literature     Science General Poems for Elemental Science .  Original Poems written by ME, because the ones that came with Elemental Science were so awful.  Three pages are included:  one page with two po