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TitleDaughters of Eve: Strong Women of the BibleAuthorRoss, Hammer Lillian and (Illustrator), Kyra TeisPublishedBarefoot Books 2000
Status:Check Shelves Subject MediaHardcover,BookEditionEnglish LanguageISBN1902283821TypebookDescription
From Publishers Weekly Although the title and the eye-catching jacket may indicate otherwise, Ross (Sarah, Also Known as Hannah) directs her collection of profiles to a Jewish audience, with the Bible explicitly defined as a "3,500-year-old library of Hebrew documents." Claiming to find few references in the Bible, the author turns to the Talmud and the Apocrypha to enrich tales of women whose heroism and wisdom influenced the course of Jewish history. Unfortunately, a formulaic expository style afflicts the writing. The story of Esther, for example, begins, "'I am alone,' five-year-old Hadassah sobbed at her father's funeral.... She shivered as the chilling rain fell on her bowed head." Although readers may already be familiar with some of the well-known figures included here, such as Miriam and Esther, this book may be of interest for its attention to the less famous. Ross describes the prophetess Huldah covertly teaching the Torah to the young king of Judah, Josiah, whose father and grandfather forsook "the True Religion"; and the daughters of Zelophehad securing the rights of brotherless daughters to inherit their father's goods. Debut illustrator Teis contributes mixed-media collage compositions, borders and decorations. Her colors and patterns suggest biblical times, and taken singly, most of her works are graceful. Yet the profusion of design elements and patterns on each spread often makes the pages look busy and reduces the impact of the individual components. Ages 8-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. From School Library Journal Grade 4-6-Ross has expanded the stories of Old Testament women such as Miriam, Ruth, and Esther, and included such lesser-known figures as Moses's wife Zipporah and the daughters of Zelophehad, who rate only a paragraph in the Bible. Each selection opens with a brief introduction that covers the history and political climate of the times. The information is mostly accurate, and the goal of introducing children to these women is admirable. Unfortunately, the language used in some of the introductions is so convoluted as to be incomprehensible, and the author's depictions of certain women are modernized to the point that they completely lose the flavor of the times. The retellings are rather simplistic and colorless, as if geared to younger readers, yet Ross includes stories and ideas that seem better suited to an older audience. Teis's use of collage and paint to add decorative borders and illustrate certain scenes is very effective and for the most part the artwork is lovely, although it is a bit unrealistic in places (Moses looks overly clean and healthy for having been wandering in the desert). As a whole, though, the book never quite overcomes its uninspired language. Amy Lilien-Harper, Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.