Daughters of Eve: Strong Women of the Bible

Lillian Hammer Ross, Author, Kyra Teis, Illustrator Barefoot Books $19.99 (96p) ISBN 978-1-902283-82-1
Although the title and the eye-catching jacket may indicate otherwise, Ross (Sarah, Also Known as Hannah) directs her collection of profiles to a Jewish audience, with the Bible explicitly defined as a ""3,500-year-old library of Hebrew documents."" Claiming to find few references in the Bible, the author turns to the Talmud and the Apocrypha to enrich tales of women whose heroism and wisdom influenced the course of Jewish history. Unfortunately, a formulaic expository style afflicts the writing. The story of Esther, for example, begins, ""`I am alone,' five-year-old Hadassah sobbed at her father's funeral.... She shivered as the chilling rain fell on her bowed head."" Although readers may already be familiar with some of the well-known figures included here, such as Miriam and Esther, this book may be of interest for its attention to the less famous. Ross describes the prophetess Huldah covertly teaching the Torah to the young king of Judah, Josiah, whose father and grandfather forsook ""the True Religion""; and the daughters of Zelophehad securing the rights of brotherless daughters to inherit their father's goods. Debut illustrator Teis contributes mixed-media collage compositions, borders and decorations. Her colors and patterns suggest biblical times, and taken singly, most of her works are graceful. Yet the profusion of design elements and patterns on each spread often makes the pages look busy and reduces the impact of the individual components. Ages 8-up. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/31/2000
Release date: 08/01/2000
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