cover image In the Promised Land: Lives of Jewish Americans

In the Promised Land: Lives of Jewish Americans

Doreen Rappaport, , illus. by Cornelius Van Wright and Ying-Hwa Hu. . HarperCollins, $15.99 (31pp) ISBN 978-0-688-17150-6

The creative trio behind We Are the Many: A Picture Book of American Indians turns its focus to the stories of 13 notable Jewish Americans in this compendium of brief and colorful biographies. Famous figures such as magician/escape artist Harry Houdini, polio expert Dr. Jonas Salk and film director Steven Spielberg get equal billing with track and field star Lillian Copeland and Jacob W. Davis, who invented the design of the jeans that made Levi Strauss a brand name. Each spread contains a one-page synopsis of a pivotal or defining moment in the subject's life and a full-page watercolor portrait of the same subject in action. Rappaport's entries—most of which focus on strength of spirit and overcoming adversity—shine with energy and pride while delivering key historical information. From this diverse collection, readers are bound to come away with brand new information or at least some new insight on familiar faces. Wright and Hu's earthy palette and soft-edged lines bring to life, in a concrete and memorable way, the accomplishments of these people, presented in the context of their time. Ages 5-9. (Mar.)