Hope and haman­taschen


JOSHY IS four but he can­not chat with his class­mates or un­der­stand what his teacher is say­ing. He has a con­di­tion called Spe­cific Lan­guage Im­pair­ment and (Grosvenor House, £7.99) is Cyn­thia Pel­man’s story of how he learns to com­mu­ni­cate. It is told from the al­ter­nat­ing view­points of his pa­tient speech ther­a­pist, his anx­ious mother and Joshy him­self. Par­ents of chil­dren with speech a n d l a n - guage dif­fi­cul­ties will f i n d p r a c - t i c a l h e l p and re­as­sur­ance in this book — but its ap­peal is wider than that. This is a tale of quiet courage and de­ter­mi­nat i o n a n d read­ers from age 12 to adult will be will­ing Joshy to suc­ceed.

Pel­man is a speech and lan­guage ther­a­pist and is a founder of Word­works, which pro­vides read­ing in­struc­tion, par­ent sup­port and lan­guage as­sis­tance to chil­dren from im­pov­er­ished town­ships in South Africa ( This and her other books are part of her mis­sion to act as an ad­vo­cate for chil­dren who have not yet found their voice.

If you can over­look the Amer­i­can spell­ing, by Rachel Raz (Kar-Ben, £5.60 ) is a fun book t o s h a r e w i t h u n d e r - s e v e n s s t a r t i ng He­brew. It de­votes a d o u - ble page to each colour, with rain­bow-bright pho­to­graphs of ap­pro­pri­ate ob­jects — such as a stop light and mail van for red, each la­belled in English, Ivrit and translit­er­ated Ivrit. Pic­tures also give glimpses of Is­raeli life, for in­stance or­anges at Jaffa mar­ket.

Someof the­word­susedaream­bi­tious for early read­ers — “beau­ti­ful cy­cla­mens” ap­pear on the pink page and “Mon­te­fiore wind­mill” on the white. But there’s no harm in aim­ing high.

is a bril­liant new Purim pic­ture book by Laura Aron Mil­han­der, il­lus­trated by Inna Ch­ernyak (Kar-Ben, £5.40). Three lit­tle pigs, Ris­hon, Sheni and Sh­lishi (first, se­cond and third) are mak­ing crowns for Purim. The first makes h i s c r o w n rapidly out of thin pa­per. The se­cond mak e s h i s quite a bit s t r o n g e r , from poster board, gold foil and glue. But the third spends ages mak­ing his re­ally strong... what? You think you’ve read some­thing like this be­fore? Wait and see what hap­pens when the big bad wolf comes along in search of haman­taschen.

No wolves are harmed in this Purim­spiel re-telling, which be­comes a hu­mor­ous fa­ble about say­ing sorry, for­give­ness and shar­ing.

If you loved Enid Bly­ton’s board­ingschool sto­ries, look out for Anne Digby’s se­ries, which is be­ing reis­sued by Eg­mont (£6.99 each). Th­ese are clas­sic sto­ries of friend­ship, ri­valry and gen­tle mys­tery, for ages seven to 11.

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