If I Swam with Jonah

(Author) (Illustrator)
Product Details
$17.95  $16.69
Apples & Honey Press
Publish Date
8.1 X 10.2 X 0.4 inches | 0.8 pounds

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About the Author
Pamela Moritz loves writing for kids, teaching kids, and (sometimes) acting like a kid. She lives in Israel, and every so often you can find her at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo admiring the elephants, kangaroos, or chimpanzees. She wonders where they might go if they really do escape.
MacKenzie Haley is an illustrator, runner, and cat whisperer from Louisville, KY. She has a BFA in illustration from University of Dayton, and has worked with a variety of publishers over the last decade.
"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 on earth. From there, the narrator joins Jonah in the belly of the beast, where Haley's art conceives of the prophet in period dress, with the interior walls of the fish decorated with sea-themed art. The tone is whimsical and fun, and so is Haley's art. Jonah, inspired by the narrator and their experience, declares himself ready for his mission, and returns to dry land with the narrator. The artist works in themes of purple for the fish, and the art is simple and accessible to young kids.I could easily see this book being read aloud to kids during the days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, and kids being delighted. There's an afterword where Moritz shares her inspiration for the story. Moritz and Haley know the core text, and the Jewish religious content is text-based. This is also a book that will appeal to many Christian families looking for a support text for their Hebrew Bible explorations, or Muslim families exploring the placement of the Jonah (Yūnus) story's placement in the Koran. This overall appeal to the three Abrahamic faiths is rare and noteworthy. It is worthy of Sydney Taylor recognition." --Jeff Gottesfeld, author of The Christmas Mitzvah, for Sydney Taylor Shmooze