Biblical Stories for Children:

King Solomon

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King Solomon and His Magic Ring
King Solomon and His Magic Ring

By Elie Wiesel
"Have you heard?" In an intimate, conversational tone, Elie Wiesel retells stories of King Solomon from the Old Testament and from the Talmud and the Midrash. Opposite each page of text, Mark Podwal's full-page paintings in gouache, acrylics, and colored pencil leave space for the mystery and evoke the playful exaggeration of the brief, legendary stories. There are many tales of the king's wisdom and grandeur and power (in the building of the Temple, "the heaviest stones moved on their own and set themselves into the walls"); but the great ruler was also wise enough to smile. The story of the Queen of Sheba is here, and so is the famous biblical account of how the wise king judged who was a baby's true mother. There are also vignettes of his mistakes and failures.

from Booklist

Solomon and the Trees

By Matt Biers-Ariel
Amid the tranquillity of sun-dappled forests in ancient Israel, Solomon the future king, is said to have gained his renowned wisdom. Each spring, Solomon approached the grandest tree in the forest and listened for the sound of the sap, the flowing life force heralding the renewal of the forest. But Solomon's duties as a sovereign, particularly the demands of building the Temple to honor God, left him no time to visit his beloved wood. When the Temple is completed, Solomon sets out for the forest. As he approaches, he senses a strange silence: there are no chirping birds or shuffling animals. There are no trees: they have been felled to build the magnificent Temple. Determined to restore what he unwittingly decimated, the grieving king collects seeds from the forest floor, nurtures them, and plants new trees at the full moon of the Hebrew month of Sh'vat. Legend has it that this was how the Jewish holiday of Tu Bish'vat came to be. Books on this celebration are rare, and this one meaningfully extends ancient traditions to encompass current concerns about environment.

Description from Booklist

Solomon was a young prince who lived next to a large forest where he spent every spare moment because he preferred peaceful trees to rancorous humans, and was taught to speak their language by the animals who lived there. When Solomon grew up and became the king, he found himself so busy that he forgot about the forests and his animal friends. Eventually Solomon came to understand the price that must be paid when people don't take proper care of the earth and its blessings. Highly recommended for young readers grades 1-3, and based on a Midrash folktale and Judaic teachings about the earth and the festival cycle, Solomon And The Trees is an outstanding and superbly presented collaboration between author Matt Biers-Airel and illustrator Esti Silverberg-Kiss.

Description from Midwest Book Review

A long time ago, in the Land of Israel, a young prince named Solomon lived next to a large forest. Solomon spent every spare moment in the forest because he preferred the company of the peaceful trees to his busy city life. Solomon made friends with the animals living there and learned to speak their language. They taught him secrets no human had ever learned, like how spiders keep from getting caught by their own webs and the reason bats sleep upside down. Solomon loved the forest, and the forest loved him.

But all too soon Solomon grows up and becomes a king. He becomes very busy and forgets about the forest and his friends the animals. In this lushly illustrated environmental midrash, Solomon comes to understand the price that must be paid when we donít take care of the earth and its blessings.

Description from Publisher

King Solomon & the Queen of Sheba

By Blu Greenberg and Linda Tarry
The Queen of Sheba comes to Jerusalem to test King Solomon's wisdom. The king answers all her questions and reveals the splendor of his realm in this epic love story for children. Based on Biblical, Rabbinic and Ethiopian sources.

Description from Publisher

This version of the story has exciting original materialfresh new tales and riddles, an equal relationship, and a naturally multicultural, as well as slightly feminist, bias. Beginning like a fairy tale, it introduces the precocious African princess Makeda of Sheba, a child whose wisdom, fame as a riddler, and kindness prompts her elderly father to name her, rather than either of her brothers, his heir. And she becomes Queen. (This is the first time that the Queen of Sheba has been given a history, a family, and aggada [legends] of her own, or that she has been shown to be of the African race.) Meanwhile, "In a land far away" lives a wise Jewish King, named Solomon, who had also manifested great wisdom as a child. Inevitably, traders bring news of the other to their rulers. Queen Makeda accepts King Solomon's invitation to visit. The two quietly earn each other's respect and love while also discussing the other's country and religious beliefs. They marry; she conceives his child and returns to Sheba. When their son reaches the age of 13, he returns to his father. There the story ends, but the legend continues in an afterword that explains the prevailing desire of today's Ethiopian Jews to return to Jerusalem. While the writing is graceful and dignified, the art accomplished and charming with valid ethnic representation, and the book design elegant, the real importance of this title is its more accurate portrayal of the Queen of Sheba.

Description from School Library Journal

The Wisdom Bird :
A Tale of Solomon and Sheba

By Sheldon Oberman
Based upon an amalgam of African and Jewish folktales, this is a charming story told in pictorial, musical language. Hearing of King Solomon's incomparable wisdom, the Queen of Sheba journeys to Jerusalem to question and learn from him. She then challenges him to use his knowledge for a special task, and he agrees without knowing what it is. He is disturbed to hear that she wants him to build a palace of bird beaks. Sadly, all the birds gather obediently to make the sacrifice. The last to arrive is the hoopoe, who poses three significant, beak-saving questions to the wise king, ending the tale with a significant truth. In a large, decorative format, with the text and acrylic illustrations handsomely framed upon pages in a variety of subtle colors, bordered by elegant abstract designs, the king and queen, the city of Jerusalem, and the many beautiful birds shine forth in full splendor

Description from School Library Journal

Oberman draws on biblical and traditional Jewish and African tales for this clever and affecting story. When the Queen of Sheba hears that King Solomon is the wisest of all men, she journeys with her entourage to Jerusalem to meet him. After a grand reception, she requests that he teach her what he can do with his knowledge. He promises to perform whatever task she sets, and the queen asks him to build a palace out of bird beaks. As Solomon summons all the birds to take their beaks, the hoopoe bird tempts Solomon with three riddles, "three things you do not know." The riddles lead Solomon to realize the irreparable harm he is contemplating and he tells the hoopoe, "I will not hurt you or any creature just to show my power." He then apologizes to the queen. She responds, "I wanted you to teach me something important, and you did. You taught me it is better to break a promise than do something that is wrong." Waldman (previously paired with Oberman for By the Hanukkah Light) captures the thoughtfulness of the two main characters and subtly plays up the differences between them. His Sheba is a poised, dark-skinned woman in royal African attire, replete with magnificent headdress; his Solomon, dressed simply with tallis and kippah, has a flowing red beard and long hair. The full-spread illustrations, which combine compositions in Waldman's impressionistic style with geometric patterned frames, suggest the multiple origins of the story.

Description from Publishers Weekly

The Flower of Sheba
(Bank Street Ready-To-Read Books)

By Doris Orgel
An easy-to-read version of the Queen of Sheba's testing of King Solomon is told with language and illustrations that reflect the complexity of the tale. When the king proves his wisdom to the queen, she observes that hen a mighty king learns even from a tiny bee, he is wise indeed.

Description from Horn Book

Spurred by tales of the wisdom of King Solomon, the wise Queen of Sheba visits him in order to test his knowledge and increase her own. First she asks him riddles, then she challenges him to find the one real flower among a thousand blooms made of silk, paper, and glass. Confounded by the scented, artificial garden, Solomon opens a window and lets in a bee, which leads him to the real white rose growing amid the "permanent flowers." The African queen leaves Solomon enriched by the knowledge that "to the wise, even small creatures can be great teachers." Colorful illustrations add to the book's appeal. While the tale is charming, well told, and evidently traditional, the story demands source notes and the book does not supply them. Still, this Bank Street Ready-to-Read book is an unusual and worthwhile choice for young readers.

Description from Booklist

Noah, Moses, King Solomon and Me

(Book & CD-ROM)
Children will love reading these favorite Bible stories and will delight in seeing "themselves" throughout each book. Included in the books are perforated sticker pages and a CD-ROM (Windows and Mac compatible) to use in personalizing the book. In addition to the personalization feature, the CD-ROM offers electronic activities that relate to the Bible stories, including games, puzzles, mazes, word searches, and coloring pages, plus an extra "fun pack" for creating personalized bookmarks, bookplates, stationery, and more.

Description from Publisher

Whitney Solves a Dilemna With Solomon And Learns the Importance of Honesty

By Therese Johnson Borchard
Whitney Bickham turns to her Emerald Bible after she is caught cheating on a math test. As she reads from the story of Solomon's judgment, she learns an important lesson about honesty and helps the wise king solve a perplexing dilemma.

Description from Publisher

King Solomon Figures It Out

By Sari Steinberg
King Solomon falls under the spell of the evil Kardoom. Yoel the stonemason, with the help of the unique stone-cutting Shameer worms, help the King break the spell and regain his throne.

Description from Publisher

King Solomon and the Bee

By Dalia Hardof Renberg
Renberg retells a traditional tale with roots in the Bible. King Solomon is visiting his garden when a small bee accidently stings his nose. Solomon is angry at first and then laughs when the bee says that someday he may be able to do him a favor. That day comes when the queen of Sheba arrives to test Solomon's vaunted wisdom with puzzles and riddles. The last test involves bouquets of artificial flowers--and one bunch that is real. Solomon is having trouble picking out the real flowers as the queen requests, until the bee flies directly to them. This simple story is fresh and appealing. The brightly colored pictures, accented with masses of flowers on every page, are occasionally stiff, but they do have child appeal. Kids will especially like the two-page spread that is crowded with insects flying around the pages. An author's note chronicles the interesting derivation of this story.

Description from Booklist

The Wonder Worm

By Ruth Zakutinsky
Shamir, a worm who can cut through stone, helps King Solomon build a Holy Temple.

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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