Jewish Values: JPS Illustrated Children's Bible

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256 p.
Ellen Frankel has chosen 53 stories from the Tanach for her stunning JPS Illustrated Children’s Bible. In a book like this, some stories must be excluded, and Frankel gives a clear rationale for why she chose what she did. The language and rhythms of this volume is close to the original Hebrew and, for the most part, come from the 1985 JPS translation. Frankel has made judicious choices, so that a child can delight in the stories themselves, without being detoured by unfamiliar or archaic words and concepts. In the helpful “Author’s Notebook” for parents, educators, and rabbis, Frankel elucidates the following thorny issues: diction, translation, Hebrew, editing, commentary, objectionable adult material, and gender. She also lists the stories she included and their order in the Tanach. A comprehensive index of people, places, and things completes the back matter. Avi Katz’s gorgeous illustrations, in pencil, ink, and watercolor, are a perfect complement to these Bible stories. At least one full-page illustration accompanies each story. In addition, like a zoom-in camera, segments of the larger illustrations are placed judiciously within the text. A sense of flow and continuity is provided by the design, for the pages without illustrations have borders that echo the main illustration. The JPS Illustrated Children’s Bible will surely help children understand themselves, their relationships with others, and with God. This lovely, inspiring book is a treasure that will be passed down from generation to generation. A must for every Jewish library! Winner of a 2009 National Jewish Book Award.
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