Review: The Magician's Visit

The Magician's Visit 

by I.L. Peretz, adapted by Barbara Diamond Goldin, illustrated by Eva Sánchez Gómez

Green Bean Books

Category: Picture Books
Reviewer: Kathy Bloomfield

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The classic I.L. Peretz story of a penniless street magician who assists a poor couple in celebrating a truly miraculous Passover has been revised by Barbara Diamond Goldin from her 1993 edition. The language of this version has been brought up to date, for example, the couple Hayim-Jonah and Rivkah-Bailah are now Jonah and Rebecca, and the story text has been tightened. Instead of the dark, oil-based illustrations by Robert Andrew Parker in the 1993 edition, we have lighter, brighter illustrations by Eva Sánchez Gómez, using colored pencils on a white background. This is an excellent update of her earlier work, with all the charm and miracles of the first version.

While this may be the classic version of this classic Passover story, and one that should find a place on the Sydney Taylor list, it will most definitely get a run for its money when compared to another 2021 picture book based on the same story, The Passover Guest by Susan Kusel, illustrated by Sean Rubin.

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Kathy Bloomfield is the President of the Association of Jewish Libraries, and reviews books for the AJL Newsletter. She is working hard during the COVID-19 pandemic to upgrade her long dormant website, She lives in Seal Beach, CA.