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Tikvah Means Hope Hardcover – August 1, 1994


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 and up
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday Books for Young Readers; First Printing edition (August 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385320590
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385320597
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 8.8 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #880,296 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Polacco's (Chicken Sunday) characteristically rich pencil and gouache artwork depict a neighborhood in her Oakland, Calif., hometown, showing how it weathered the devastating firestorms of 1992. Mr. Roth and his young neighbors Duane and Justine have built a Sukkah to celebrate Sukkoth, the Jewish festival of thanksgiving. But when the holiday begins, a hot wind breathes spreading brush fires into the Oakland hills. As flames engulf whole neighborhoods, hundreds of people must evacuate to nearby shelters. The Roths' pain is heightened when they cannot bring ther cat, Tikvah, to safety. When the families finally return home, they find only rubble. But the Sukkah, miraculously, stands unscathed. And, in another bit of good fortune, Tikvah also turns up. Polacco's ambitious story tries hard to accomplish many objectives. The combination of varied elements results in a rushed tone and uneven pacing, so that the religious or spiritual aspect seems particularly forced. Her drawings skillfully and emotionally convey the anguish of the suffering community, as well as its resilience and hopefulness. An author's note provides more factual information about the disaster. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2-Polacco recalls a terrible firestorm in Oakland, California, that consumed its hills, and describes two miracles that took place there. On the day before Sukkoth, Mr. Roth begins to build a Sukkah, which he explains to the two non-Jewish neighbor children who have come to help, is an outdoor hut built for the holiday, with a roof of open branches to recall the time the Jews wandered in the desert and lived in similar huts. That night, the children sleep in it, joined by Tikvah, the Roths' cat. The next morning something is awry. The sun is fiery orange and a strong hot wind has sprung up. The hills are on fire! Panic and confusion prevail, and families are evacuated. The fire burns for two days. Incredibly, the Sukkah was spared and Tikvah is found alive. Polacco's illustrations are dramatically expressive. She contrasts homey scenes of one day with the confusion, despair, and eventual ash gray caused by the destruction. These are followed by a night of redemption, the Sukkah standing untouched among the ashes, the neighbors illuminated in the light of a holiday candle, gathered to give thanks and to eat in the one standing structure. Polacco has provided Sukkoth with its own miracle.
Marcia Posner, Federation of New York and the Jewish Book Council, New York City
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
83%
4 star
17%
3 star
0%
2 star
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1 star
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See all 12 customer reviews
This was a heart warming book.
Beverly B. Forbes
Moreover, when a story primarily focuses on the holiday, the picture book may lose its appeal to a general audience.
Sandra
Mr. Roth reaches down into it and pulls out their pet cat, Tikvah.
elliot fein

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By elliot fein on March 16, 2004
Format: Hardcover
A sukkah is not a permanent structure but a temporary dwelling. A wind can easily blow a sukkah down, a rain can wash it away. Patricia Polacco tells an ironic tale in Tikvah Means Hope about how a natural disaster destroyed material possessions that people felt were permanent while a sukkah, something built only for a short time, persevered.
It is the story of Mr. and Mrs. Roth of Oakland, who build a sukkah in the backyard of their house. While they put up their ritual hut, two neighborhood children, Justine and Duane decide to help them in their task. In the process, Justine and Duane learn the meaning of the Jewish harvest festival of Sukkot, a precursor to the American holiday of Thanksgiving.
"You see, we Jews have always had to move a lot," says Mr. Roth to the children. "We wandered in the desert for many years. Then at long last we found the promised Land and settled into real homes. Now we build these little huts to remind us of all the days we had no place to live, and also to give thanks for our new homes and rich harvest that our new land gave us."
For their efforts, the Roths invite Justine and Duane to sleep in their sukah and celebrate a festive meal in it. Before the children can take advantage of the hospitality, they are evacuated from their homes. A fire ravages their neighborhood burning their houses to the ground.
The Roths are devastated by the event. After the fire is put out,they search frantically among the ashes to find something that would prove they had a life here.
Just when the older man is about to lose all hope, Justine and Duane shout for him to come to the backyard. When Mr. Roth arrives, he sees one object still standing among the ashes: the sukkah. Mr. Roth can not believe his eyes. How could the sukkah not be damaged?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By L. Sattler on September 1, 1999
Format: Paperback
When my children first read Tikvah Means Hope we needed to stop and crack open a box of tissues. Then we started talking about what in life is really important to us- which meant family before "things". Tikvah Means Hope is a wonderful family book and a treasure for any child to have and keep for future generations. It also is a testament the magnificent author, Patricia Polacco, who writes such timely themed books that touch children from all cultures and parts of the country. Our family loves her books and we hope that other Amazon readers will too!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
As the review states, good stories for Succoth are rare. Patricia Polacco's story illustates how grateful the holiday of Sukkot reminds us to be for the shelter over our heads. Like Polacco in the Oakland firestorm, we were in our Sukkah when the SF Bay earthquake hit in 1989...another remindeer of how ephemeral our material world can be.
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By Sandra on February 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Years ago, I tried to obtain a used copy of Tikvah Means Hope from Amazon only to find that it was outrageously priced. At that time, there was only one copy with a price tag well over $100. I decided to wait. My patience paid off. Recently, I was able to find several copies in good condition for less than $5.00.

Many books about holidays try too hard to capture every aspect of the holiday at the expense of telling a memorable story. As a result, these books lack the vitality that keeps children engaged. Moreover, when a story primarily focuses on the holiday, the picture book may lose its appeal to a general audience.

Tikvah Means Hope skillfully ties together multiple threads to create a charming story that is not easily forgotten. Patricia combines the disastrous Oakland, California fire with key aspects of the Festival of Sukkot and notable Jewish traditions. An additional level of interest is interjected by including a cat named Tikvah. Lovable animals will undoubtedly draw children into a story.

In this case, Tikvah captured the readers’ attention on the very first page even though the story is focusing on the Roth family building a sukkah. Without being too heavy handed with details, the reader gains a basic understanding of Sukkot. As the intensity of the crippling fire becomes apparent, the focus shifts to the devastating effects of an uncontrollable fire.

This book has a dual agenda. In addition to showcasing the joy of Sukkot, it brings attention to the risks associated with fires.
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By Rock Shadow on August 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The story of Oakland fire is intense, but the story of people who made it
through that fire, wtih immense losses, but great resilience and new
friendships, that story is heartwarming and memorable. Of course, kids
love the cat story, but I won't spoil it by telling.
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A Kid's Review on October 18, 2002
Format: Paperback
The book is about a family who has a cat named Tikvah. Tikvah is very small so she could get lost very easily. Then Tikvah gets lost when something bad happens to the family. Read this book to find out if the family finds Tikvah. I recomend this book to kids who like cats.
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More About the Author

Born Patricia Ann Barber in Lansing, Michigan, to parents of Russian and Ukrainian descent on one side and Irish on the other, Patricia Polacco grew up in both California and Michigan. Her school year was spent in Oakland, California, and summers in her beloved Michigan. She describes her family members as marvelous storytellers. "My fondest memories are of sitting around a stove or open fire, eating apples and popping corn while listening to the old ones tell glorious stories about their homeland and the past. We are tenacious traditionalists and sentimentalists.... With each retelling our stories gain a little more Umph!"Studying in the United States and Australia, Patricia Polacco has earned an M.F.A. and a Ph. D. in art history, specializing in Russian and Greek painting, and iconographic history. She is a museum consultant on the restoration of icons. As a participant in many citizen exchange programs for writers and illustrators, Patricia Polacco has traveled extensively in Russia as well as other former Soviet republics. She continues to support programs that encourage Russo-American friendships and understanding. She is also deeply involved in inner-city projects here in the U.S. that promote the peaceful resolution of conflict and encourage art and literacy programs.The mother of a grown son and a daughter, Patricia Polacco currently resides in Michigan, where she has a glorious old farm that was built during the time of Lincoln.

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