Friday, March 13, 2009

Alfie's Bark Mitzvah

Can I become Jewish?
What an absolute joy it has been reading this book-the words, music and illustrations are truly a gift to all who read it! it doesn't matter what your faith is, because this book's message, is one we should all practice.

I believe that when I receive a children's book, it is always interesting to have a child's perception of the book. My eight-year-old grandson Johnny and I read this book together. Then I put the CD that comes with the book in my computer and turned the volume up high. As we listen to it I glance over my shoulder I saw Johnny dancing in a way that only he could appreciated. It was a "don't laugh" grandma moment.

Then he picked up the book and asked me if we could hear it again. He began to try and sing words that he has never heard before. After he was done he asked me why we weren't Jewish? I tried to explain to him why we are Christians and not Jewish. I thought I was doing a pretty good job explaining things to him until he asked me, "Grandma, you said Christians and Jewish people believe in the same God, right? I said, "Yes we both believe in the God of Abraham. But we each worship in a different way."

Johnny was quite for awhile and then said, "I like what the Jewish children get to do and I want to become Jewish. How do I do it?" All I could say was, "You'll have to ask your parents about that."

As our daughter-in-law came to pick up Johnny he was jumping up and down and talking so fast his words were mixed up. He finally calmed down and told his mom that he wanted to become Jewish. My daughter-in-law looked at me and said "Sandy?" I just held up this precious book and said, "New book and Johnny loves everything in it."

This book should not only be in Jewish families, but also in the homes of people of other faith. The lessons are loud and clear. The greatest thing is love.

Sandra Heptinstall
Whispering Winds Book Reviews

Friday, March 6, 2009

"Sixty-Minute Shakespeare" "Romeo and Juliet" ""Hamlet"

Sixty-Minute Shakespeare: "Romeo and Juliet" "Hamlet"

I received two books called "Sixty-Minute Shakespeare." The first book was "Romeo and Juliet." The second was "Hamlet." I slowly sank into my chair and had flash backs of being in school and trying so hard to understand the many twist, turns and language of Shakespeare.

As I began to read "Romeo and Juliet," much to my surprise I actually understood what was being said. The author added footnotes and did some editing that made it easy to read. Then I read "Hamlet" and again understood what was being said. I began to glimpse the wonder that is hidden within the words.

For the first time in my life I truly understood what Shakespeare had wrote. I loved both plays and was somewhat shocked that I did. I finally realized why he was considered brilliant, and so well known around the world.

I really think these books, which are a part of a six book series, should be read by young people first, before they enter into the world of Shakespeare. The author has done a fantastic job of editing the books to shorter versions, than the original works. Even though the books are smaller, they in no way, take away from the story line of the larger books.

All I can say is thank you Cass Foster. A window that I had closed, is now opened. All because Cass Foster created "Sixty Minute Shakespeare.

Five star rating for both books.

Sandra Heptinstall
Whispering Winds Book Reviews.