By David Wisniewski
Well, this is another of the Caldecotts that I have been disappointed with. These are meant to be kids books.
It starts in a war in Prague where the Jewish people are being persecuted because of the ‘Blood Lie.” The blood lie was that the jewish people were mixing the blood of Christian children with the flour and water of the matzoh, the passover bread. Ummm…try explaining that to a four-year-old.
So the Jewish people are in trouble. A Rabbi Loew decides to make a Golem, a creature make of clay and brought to life by mystical ancient words. ~sigh~ I almost put the book down. It was actually scary.
The people riot and try to break into the ghettos of the Jewish people with burning torches and battering rams. The golem kills most of them.
Then the jewish people are safe and the golem has no purpose anymore. He begs his master to allow him to live, but her erases his life anyways.
Now legend has it, should the Jewish people ever become in trouble again, he will rise again to protect them.
Yikes. We quickly picked up a different book to erase the memory of the last one from her head.
This book won the Caldecott Award in 1997. I will say that the illustration techniques were interesting. I’m not sure what to call it, but it had the effect of paper cut-out and laid on top of each other and gave depth to the illustrations.