Gili Bar-Hillel (text), Prodeepta Das (photographs), I is for Israel, Frances Lincoln/Walker Books Australia, 1 March 2016, 26pp., $24.99 (hbk), ISBN: 9781847807083
This is an alphabet book, a letter per page, and a full page photograph on each page showing something of ‘the good side of life in Israel’. Some words are Arabic, such as A for Ahalan, a common greeting. Sometimes we are introduced to places in Israel, such as C for Caesaria, the ancient port city, or Negev, the desert that covers more than half the country. There is food (Falafel, Olives, shuk), and there is history, religion and culture (Qumran, Yeshiva, Zionism). This book is a smartly presented introduction to Israel, one that could be valuable for deepening the general knowledge of beginning readers anywhere in the world. If you are planning to go to Israel with a young child, this would be an excellent book to take along on the journey to Israel. It is, in its way, a statement in favour of tolerance and respect extending to all people and religions in the region. Recommended to be read aloud to children from two years to six years and maybe onwards.
Reviewed by Kevin Brophy