I received you book and LOVED IT! Read most of it standing up right where I unwrapped it. The amount of text on the page was comfortable, and the graphic layout of conversations between the mouse and the rabbi made their verbal sense easy to "see," for group out-loud reading of the book.
The illustrations are framed almost filmically, alternating between extreme close-ups (rabbi's face, mouse reactions, tiny mouse families emulating Jewish traditions) and wide shots (mice moving through the parted Red Sea, surprise ending) plus some medium shots for broader human connection (congregational break-the-fast). I do TV for a living, so this approach really sustained my attention and I can only imagine it will do the same for children reading alone and parent-child reading situations. Groups of kids I read to will be leaning in close to see what happens to the mouse!
I delighted in situations and illustrations that reminded me of "The Borrowers", "Thumbelina", and "Stuart Little". Thanks for the memories! Hope there are other titles for me to buy.
From the first screams of "Mice! Mice!" to the unexpected ending, A Mouse in the Rabbi's Study is full of surprises. While Mazel's head is "filled with wonderful stories", children (gentile and Jew alike) will join him to gain a glimpse into many Hebrew holidays and traditions. They will also see an important lesson about being a friend and the powerful impact simple acts of kindness can have.
Pegi Ballenger's simple illustrations parallel the story as it moves from the commonplace (with everyday earth tones) to a crescendo of the beautiful blues and purples of Hebrew tradition and back again. Her paintings of Mazel make him almost human.
Whether you are looking for a story with familiar elements to enhance your child's understanding of his faith, or an introduction to Judaism through its stories and traditions, this book should find a place on your shelf.
"A Mouse in the Rabbi's Study" is a delightful story with perfectly-matched, soft-touch illustrations. Written and designed as a children's book, it is a thoughtful, sensitive story, just as meaningful for adults. It presents a lesson that, in the Jewish tradition, teaches how to live, to cooperate and be at peace with all those around you and, as a result, make a better world. The final illustration -- an ending without words - is a fitting conclusion and a familiar, satisfying Jewish scene.
The book arrived today. Joan and I have both read it, and we both loved it. We haven't listened to the CD yet.
I think the book is very, very good. I don't know what age you tailored it for, but I can imagine my girls loving it as soon as they could sit still long enough for me to read it to them. I realize that I can't remember just what age that was. It wasn't very old! I suppose that a few rhyming word books would have come first. Go dog, go: that kind of stuff. It's also just the kind of book that they wanted to have read to them over, and over, and over, and...
The pictures mirror the text beautifully and add detail to it. My favorite is page 19.
We'll be ordering a few more copies as soon as we compile a gift list. Congratulations on a wonderful work of art.
Thanks a lot for sending the book. We all enjoyed it very much. We loved the CD a lot - and the mouse is adorable. Our five-year-old daughter loved it. We really liked the music, which I understood is inspired from Jewish folk music. Congratulations for a beautiful book.
You are fun! Have fun!
Your wonderful book arrived today. The drawing of the Rabbi is so appealing. He really jumps right off the page. What a great way to tell the story. The personalities of all the mice are captured beautifully also. Great book. The CD addition was a big surprise. I think you have given people a lot when they buy the book.
I loved the book. Mom, can I take it to school with me?
We got our copy of the book and immediately sat down to read it. What a great story! This is just the type of story that kids love. And there are so many good messages in it.
Your book is stunning! Your illustrator did a magnificent job. You couldn't have asked for anyone better to bring your wonderful story to life. I loved the book. It should become a classic. You presented the Jewish year beautifully. It is really charming. This would be a good addition to libraries, Jewish and non-Jewish alike, and also in homes where only one parent is Jewish and they want to give the children an introduction to the holidays.
As soon as I pulled the book from the envelope, I read the book from cover to cover. Then I passed it to Bea, who followed my example. I know nothing about children's books, but I suspect you've written a best seller among those for whom you wrote. I'll be surprised if enthusiastic reviews don't appear in the likes of "Hadassah" magazine. Ms. Ballenger's illustrations add a lot; they're excellent.
I love, love, love your book. I want to buy many copies. I just want to give it away to everybody. I can’t wait to show it off. The book is funny, loving, and intelligent. The illustrations are gorgeous.
Your book is fabulous. Mazel tov on the publication, which shares Torah with mice and men, etc.
This book is precious - and so educational... It complements our collection nicely.
"The story is wonderful and the illustrations will surely make any child feel the magic."
"The book is a Mouseterpiece."
"The story is affectionately told and full of fun." The illustrations are charming, and the CD is a lovely bonus. Our seven-year old daughter is especially taken with it. I am looking forward to giving the two other copies to young cousins.
"Thanks for the book and congratulations!" The story is wonderful and the illustrations are fabulous...and I LOVED the surprise ending. Can't wait to listen to the CD.
What a joy to receive your book, which arrived today for my kids' birthdays. We put the cd on right away and my daughter (turning five this week) listened to it twice through. It's a beautiful book. I sent something out about it to my rabbi colleagues.
The book is a lot of fun - the best part is it comes with a CD which includes about one song for each holiday of the year, some old standards but some not so usual ones, and the story. My daughter was immediately captivated, especially since the first (and last) instrumental is "Sisu et Yerushalayim" which she has been learning for Yom Yerushalayim tomorrow.
The book has a lot of food in it - Nancy dedicates the book, "For Mom, who taught me to love the holidays through her cooking these delicious foods." It's also got a little bit about the major holidays and a great story line of the friendship of the mouse and the rabbi. I recommend it, especially if your religious school has a library. Keep the CD for the teachers to play to their classes and let the kids enjoy the book. And try not to have as many crumbs in your office as this rabbi does!
I purchased a book for your library while you were out today! It’s great! You are going to love it! Lynn Jennings is handling the P.O. ( Big Thanks to Lynn J.)! I just gave her a call at Granby Library and added one book to the order for Kremmling. It is really a quality piece of workmanship, illustration and storytelling, there is even an audio CD! So far Grand Lake, Granby and Fraser have all purchased one too. They are going to stop and visit Lynn Shirley at Hot Sulphur Springs next.