Biblical Stories for Children:

Isaac and Rebecca

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Biblical Books for Children ... General Bible Books (Page 1) (Page 2) (Page 3) (Page 4) (Page 5) | Creation | Noah's Ark | The Tower of Babel | Abraham & Sarah | Isaac & Rebecca | Jacob, Esau, Rachel, and Leah | Joseph | Moses | Balaam's Talking Donkey | Joshua | Samson | David | Solomon | Jonah | Ruth | Esther | Daniel |

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This stunningly illustrated picture book is based on a Midrash about a white ram that is made by God on the sixth day of creation for a single purpose–to sacrifice himself on the altar in exchange for Abrahams son. The art, done in pen and ink, oils, and colored pencil, is mesmerizing. With a captivating use of language along with true drama, Gerstein tells of the ram that patiently awaits the moment when he can play his part in Gods plan. I must save the boy! he repeats, and the story takes on a true sense of urgency. The selfless act contributes much to subsequent Jewish history, and thus to the entire world. Young children might be frightened by the evil one, who is depicted as taking many clever forms in order to foil the rams intention, but most kids will find the tale exciting. Both Judaic and Christological references can be gleaned from the text, but the story is truly ecumenical and would be universal to all belief systems. Dedicated to all our fellow animals from whom we take and receive so much, this book is sure to provoke thought and provide a moment of reflection about those in our lives who sacrifice so much for us. A masterful melding of illustration and story, The White Ram will enhance all collections.

Description from School Library Journal

The story of the binding of Isaac is not for the fainthearted. Abraham's willingness to slay his child, Isaac, in deference to God's wishes has provoked questions for millennia. So how does an author present a story so disturbing to many adults to an audience of children? Basing the story on Midrash, Jewish tales about Old Testament stories, Caldecott Medal-winner Gerstein frames his picture book around the pure white ram that ultimately takes Isaac's place.

The ram waits patiently in the Garden of Eden and beyond until God calls. More than once the Evil One tries to thwart him, but the ram insists, "I must save the child." He runs through swamps and jungles, leaps over lions, and finally scales the sacred mount, where he sees Isaac bound to an altar and Abraham weeping. After God intercedes with Abraham, the ram meets his fate "and his soul [flies] into God's hands." Children who don't know the story will be lost, but, of course, many will be familiar with the biblical tale. Gerstein offers an explanation about the necessity of the sacrifice through dialogue between Abraham and God, with Abraham wondering why God tested him, knowing that he would do whatever was asked. God replies, "I wanted the whole world to see your love and your trust in me so that all people might follow your example." This may temper the scene for some, even as it raises more questions for others. Of course, Gerstein can only work within the parameters of the original text. In that context, he tries hard to bring a sense of nobility to the story, embuing the ram with a fidelity that is heroic.

The art does not shy away from the fearsomeness of the story but it, too, attempts to offer hope. The intense painting, executed in inks, oils, and colored pencil, clearly depict both the evil in the world (as personified by a particularly fierce devilish character in several guises) as well as the power of God and His word. Gerstein uses shape and color to move the action through the lower realms of swamp and earth and then elevates the scene of the sacrifice on a high mountain. Though God is not seen, hints of his hands are visible in the clouds for those who look closely. Especially moving is the double-page spread that shows the broken ram on the altar, its spirit flying into the light. A stirring visual finale, on pages touched with gold, explains how the ram's ashes and bones came to build a great Temple, and how his horns will be used to call the people of Israel home.

Description from Booklist

Kind Little Rivka

By Dina Rosenfeld
The latest in the series of "The Little Greats"--Biblical figures as children--is Kind Little Rivka about the Matriarch Rebecca as a young girl. It is a simply narrated, beautifully illustrated account of how Abraham's trusted servant Eliezer chose Rivka to be Isaac's wife -- all because of her kindness.

from L'Chaim


By Alison Greengard
Rebecca, destined to become the matriarch of two mighty nations, is remembered for her generosity and compassion, as well as her beauty. In this volume, told simply in Hebrew and English, we are introduced to the young Rebecca who journeys to an unknown land to meet with her betrothed, Isaac. This book is the third in our series of Bible stories, and features full-color reproductions of silk paintings.

Description from Publisher

The White Ram: A Story of Abraham And Isaac

By Mordicai Gerstein
Made on the sixth day of the Creation, a white ram waits patiently in the Garden of Eden. The other animals leave one by one, but the ram waits and waits until he is needed to fulfull God's will by sacrificing himself to save a boy's life.

Description from Publisher

Abraham and Isaac

By Catherine Storr
Relates the story of Abraham's fidelity to G-d and love for his son Isaac.

Description from Publisher

General Bible Books | Creation | Noah's Ark | The Tower of Babel | Abraham & Sarah | Isaac & Rebecca | Jacob, Esau, Rachel, and Leah | Joseph | Moses | Balaam's Talking Donkey | Joshua | Samson | David | Solomon | Jonah | Ruth | Esther | Daniel |

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