A child snuggles up to a parent to share a favorite storybook, and in this moment of wonder and intimacy, a love of books is kindled and nurtured. During the receptive years of childhood, parents are the single greatest influence on a child's blossoming identity. And reading to your children is one of the best ways to communicate important lessons that can be remembered for a lifetime. When a parent chooses a book with Jewish content, there can be even greater benefits-- for these books can transmit Jewish education and values, while promoting Jewish identity and continuity.
A VERY SPECIAL GIFT
This book does not tell the historical story of Purim. Rather A Very Special Gift tells the story of a "child of today" in a "today's world." Therefore, it can be read year round. The plot centers around a child, Gali, who wants to give her mother a gift for Purim. She wants to use her own money that SHE works for and saves. Through her hard work and good planning and the kindness of a storekeeper her dream becomes a reality. The gift will be a plate that she decorates for her mother's hamentashen.
What a Purim! Gali's Mother is thrilled with her hamentashen plate that shows originality, that "one of a kind" gift that says, "I love you," that years from now will be taken out and always treasured. The story builds to a crescendo and then it falls. THE PLATE BREAKS!
To go beyond the book with A Very Special Gift means feeling the depths of despair, that a child feels and that all of our children feel at some time in childhood. Maybe no vacation because someone gets sick, or the birthday party is poorly attended because of a sudden storm. Adults say, "It is just a party--you will have another one; you'll get over it--it's not the end of the world." Sound familiar? That's what was said to us, remember?
To go beyond the book is to focus on how this "tragedy" is resolved--it is truly brilliant!! Gali picks up the pieces of the plate and puts them into a jar--Presto! A great noise-maker is born. The purpose of a "gragger" (noise-maker) on Purim is to drown out the sound of the name of the evilest of men. The reader must say the name Haman , but we react by sounding our "graggers"--drowning out the sound of inhumanity .
Isn't that the ultimate lesson in life-- to react by picking up the pieces, just as Gali did and give them a positive spin.
* Ages 3-6
* Simply Narrated
* Colorful Illustrations
* Enhance Story Line
* A Heroine With Whom A Child Can Identify
For more information about other books refer to: goingbeyondthebook.com.
Beyond the Book is written by Rita Herman, an early childhood education specialist, in conjunction with Judaism.com staff writers.