Rachel and Mischa

Steven Bayar, Author Kar-Ben Publishing $4.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-930494-77-3
The authorsa rabbi active in the movement to free Soviet Jews and his wife, the principal of a religious schoolstate that they have tried to portray freedom through ``concrete termsthe freedom to wear a Jewish star, to light a Hanukkah menorah in an open window.'' And they use contrast as their method of instruction. American Rachel, shown in photographs, can learn openly at a Hebrew school. Soviet Mischa, pictured only in line drawings, is the son of a refusenik and must pursue religious studies at home. The worthy concept is confusingly executed when it shows Soviet life: Mischa's country isn't named until the end; one illustration shows a child in line carrying an identification card, but it isn't clear if he's at school or elsewhere; the book ends by encouraging readers to find pen pals among Jewish children in the Soviet Union but does not indicate how likely they are to receive responses to their letters; and it's never made clear why the two forms of illustration are used. Ages 4-8. (September)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
Genre: Religion
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