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on September 19, 1998
This book has so many pluses! First, it is written in understandable language(my son first fell in love with it when he was only four years old). Second, it teaches important life lessons, like the give and take nature of friendship, tolerance through understanding, acceptance of others' belief's while still valuing your own traditions, and the need to question in order to reach a greater place. Briefly, this story is about a young Jewish boy, Michael, who is drawn to the barber shop of Elijah, a Christian, because it is filled with the intriguing wooden figures he has carved. Elijah explains that these figures mostly derive from the Bible. Elijah gives him an angel figure as a Christmas gift. Michael feels privately afraid of his parents' possible reaction to this gift, not in line with the Jewish faith. He feels even God may disapprove. Ultimately, all works out for the best, and on Channukah, too! All the adults act like healthy human beings, and the young Michael is a character most children will be able to relate to, especially those who live in very religious families. This book inspires us all to go beyond our own spirituality into the real world, in order to make friends, thereby spreading love, understanding, and tolerance.
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on March 31, 2001
I am such a huge Aminah Robinson (the illustrator) fan! Be sure to check out all of the books she has illustrated. And don't even think about buying any of them in paperback. The heart and soul that she obviously puts in to her drawings will move you to tears. This is one of my favorites. The Amazon review does a good job explaining the story to you. It really resonates with all ages. One bit of trivia I can give you is that Aminah herself was a personal friend of Elijah Pierce.
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on February 12, 2014
A renowned African American Christian woodcutter and a young Jewish boy create a memorable relationship that illustrates the importance of respecting religious differences. This book can be a starting point for understanding the fundamental differences between Judaism and Christianity. Open dialogue is essential for dealing with diversity. Picture books such as this one can open the door to that discussion. Adults need to be comfortable with the topic and be prepared to answer a wide variety of questions.
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on May 1, 2015
Excellent! Very touching, poignant story by a well respected children's author. The illustrations are equally captivating. Appropriate for children of all faiths and ages. I would buy a whole stack of them to on hand as gifts or favors. Can't say enough good things about this book!
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on December 30, 2001
I ordered this book for my 6 year old grand daughter. Though it is a wonderful story, I personally felt that the discussion of hanging the blacks was too dark for the child's book and I returned it. I read the book and felt unfortable giving it, so I had my husband read it, he agreed. Though the truth of the history of the blacks cannot be hid, it really was not needed in this story of friendship.
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on February 10, 2013
This book has been a family favorite for many years. The illustrations are very true to Elijah Wood's folk art carvings.
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on January 9, 2016
I received this book right away and with no issues. I recommend this company and this book, if you want to build your Jewish Holiday repotoir.
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on December 25, 2001
This is a wonderful story that I read aloud to my children every year on Chanukkah. They love it and so do I.
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on October 10, 2007
Well, the book was a bit boring in my opinion. Also, the line about the hanging Black men is much too disturbing and controversial for children.
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