Showing posts with the label MacKenzie Haley

Review: If I Swam With Jonah

If I Swam With Jonah by Pamela Moritz, illustrated by MacKenzie Haley Apples & Honey Press (imprint of Behrman House Publishing), 2022 Category: Picture Books Reviewer: Jeff Gottesfeld Buy at The story of the minor prophet Jonah, as contained in the biblical Book of Jonah, is in many ways a troubling tale with an ambiguous ending which finds Jonah having learned only modestly from his experience. It's read in synagogues often on Yom Kippur. In IF I SWAM WITH JONAH, author Moritz and illustrator Haley find a nifty way to bring the Jonah story to young children, in a rhyming text that creates a midrash. Moritz's cleverness is to impart the tale in the first person voice of a boy who talks to his beloved pet about a fish way bigger than the goldfish, the one that swallows Jonah when he did not want to assist the people of Nineveh as God commanded. Wisely omitted is the textual reason for Jonah's reluctance -- that Nineveh was just about the most wicked place o

Review: If I Lived with Noah

If I Lived with Noah by Pamela Moritz, illustrated by MacKenzie Haley Category: Picture Books Reviewer: Belinda Brock Buy at This playful twist on the Bible story of Noah and the Ark is told in rhyme that children will enjoy listening to and adults will find fun to read. As the book opens, a young boy is comforting his stuffed animals as they all shelter under a blanket tent during a fierce rainstorm. He begins to tell his animals a story, inviting them (and the reader) to imagine themselves seeking passage on Noah’s Ark. The book goes on to relate the story of their successful voyage. Although this is a simple story that preschoolers will like, many discussion-worthy themes run through this book: how to connect, collaborate, contribute, and communicate during challenging times. In fact, while not intentional, this book offers timely lessons for periods of quarantine. Of course, all is not work on this voyage—time is also devoted to the clever ways the boy and the animals