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Gathering Sparks Hardcover – August 3, 2010
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From School Library Journal
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Top Customer Reviews
The author maintains (on the last page) that this book is of Jewish origin, from Rabbi Isaac Lucia. She says that the story is really about Jews having their destiny post-diaspora, having been flung all over the world. And that their role is tikkun olam, or repair of the world. That makes for a nice allegory. And to be sure, my littlest kids loved this book. As a parent, I like the concept of "gathering sparks." It makes something difficult to think about (restoration) really easy for kids to understand. It's a lot like the "Have You Filled A Bucket Today?" concept.
But as a religious parent, I was still a little disturbed to see such a similarity between this story and a religion that was dubbed extremely heretical by Christians and Jews throughout the Middle Ages. If you're a purist and care about this sort of thing, I wouldn't buy the book. Or if you don't approve of the tradition of reading stories into the biblical account, then don't.
If you don't care about any of this kind of stuff, go for it! The illustrations are wonderful and you'll all enjoy it at face value.
The book is gorgeously designed. Kristina Swarner's luminous, full-page mixed-media illustrations glow in muted colors, accenting the dreamy quality of Howard Schwartz's poetic text, which is based on a 16th century Jewish teaching about repairing the world. The award-winning author and illustrator have each written and illustrated many children's books and collaborated on Before You Were Born ( Roaring Book Press, 2005). Meant for ages 3- 6, this beautiful book is perfect for parents, grandparents and teachers to read with their children and students, and is highly recommended for all ages. Winner of a 2011 Sydney Taylor Book Award. Andrea Davidson
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was given as a gift ... the children (under 5 years) have made it their favorite book to have read to them.The parents are pleased with it as well!Published 20 months ago by CRFlint18
This book fits perfectly into my introduction to Tikkun Olam and why the Diaspora occurred. Beautifully illustrated and lovely, lyrical verse.Published on November 15, 2013 by A. Weinberg