Lick-able flavours

The Jewish Chronicle - - BOOKS - A board book by and

life” is also more cru­elly sur­real for be­ing played out in places now syn­ony­mous with he­do­nis­tic hol­i­days — the cerulean-blue Med, the Niçoise flower mar­ket and a Go­belin-tapestried moun­tain château.

Frenkel’sstay,holedup ina“Noah’sArk”of aho­tel along with other, as­sorted Jewish refugees, was a daily bat­tle for food and the where­withal to cook it. Damned, from March 1942, if she reg­is­tered her race, and damned if she did not, Frenkel strug­gled daily with iden­tity pa­pers, in­dif­fer­ent or openly hos­tile bu­reau­cracy and the im­prob­a­ble hope of an en­try visa to Switzerland.

Re­turn­ing from shop­ping one day, she stum­bled upon Jews be­ing rounded up for a trans­port to Drancy. A fleet­ing de­sire for sol­i­dar­ity — to join her peo­ple — was over­come by a fierce in­stinct for self-preser­va­tion. “The bit­ter­ness of this truth”, she writes, “weighs on me still and will to the end of my days.”

She slipped into a hair­dress­ing salon run by a friendly Cor­si­can woman who took her into hid­ing at great per­sonal risk. The kind­ness of strangers who shield and sup­port her makes Frenkel’s suf­fer­ing just about bear­able.

A lady aris­to­crat in Avi­gnon serves her cider from an an­cient pa­pal goblet, said to pro­tect one from the en­emy. Fol­low­ing a failed at­tempt to en­ter Switzerland, and a spell in jail, she re­cov­ers in a con­vent, cared for by Sis­ter Ange, “whose face had be­come the very man­i­fes­ta­tion of wel­come.” And, at last, there’s the sol­dier who shoots into the air and not at Frenkel, so fa­cil­i­tat­ing her il­le­gal cross­ing into Switzerland. Fran­coise Frenkel

Madeleine Kings­ley is a free­lance writer

BELLA FISHER’S mum opens a ca­nine ice-cream shop, Give a Dog a Cone — and Bella has to help there, wear­ing a dog cos­tume. “Fit Adam” re­gards Bella as just a friend, while evil ex, Luke, is dat­ing a model. And that model is Bella’s op­po­nent in a com­pe­ti­tion to win a visit from her favourite band. by (Scholas­tic, £6.99) is an at-times-overex­cited com­edy of teenage cringe­dom — with such Auste­nian re­flec­tions as: “He was like a York­shire pud­ding: his in­gre­di­ents were ex­cel­lent but com­bined they achieved a pre­vi­ously unimag­in­able ex­tra level of per­fec­tion”. Age 12 to 16.

Wa­ter­colour beach and sub­aquatic scenes il­lus­trate Elly’s Ad­ven­ture Sav­ing the Coral by Linda Nis­sen Sa­muels (Pato Press, £7.99). Elly and his friend dive into the sea to ad­mire the coral — but the usu­ally colour­ful for­ma­tions are white, due to global warm­ing (it kills the al­gae on which coral must feed to stay bright and healthy). The eco mes­sage is clearly ex­plained and Sa­muels pro­vides prac­ti­cal tips for read­ers who want to do their bit for the planet. Age three to nine. Why does the New Year for Trees oc­cur in a sea­son when it is too cold to plant them (Jan­uary 31 this year)? Find out, in by Jamie Korn­gold (Kar-Ben, £5.99). Julie Forten­berry il­lus­trates an in­creas­ingly hot-and-both­ered Sadie as she begs her fam­ily to sup­port her tree-plant­ing mis­sion.

Grandma comes to the res­cue with a prac­ti­cal al­ter­na­tive for im­pa­tient gar­den­ers — grow pars­ley and it will be ready to use at Passover. A cosy fam­ily story for age three to seven. For the un­der­threes, there is Tu B’She­vat is Com­ing,

Tracy Newman Vi­viana Garo­foli (Kar-Ben, £4.50).

Sum­moned by a de­ity, a man builds a boat to save his fam­ily and an­i­mals (two by two) from a flood. But it is not what you think. Au­thor Irv­ing Finkel is cu­ra­tor of cu­nei­form tablets at the Bri­tish Mu­seum. In The Lifeboat That

(Thames & Hud­son, £9.95), he retells the Me­sopotamian tale of Atra-ha­sis, given a Noah-like mis­sion by the god Enki.

Finkel’s ver­sion cen­tres on nineyear-old Very Quick, son of Atra-ha­sis (with scary il­lus­tra­tions by Dy­lan Giles). Age nine to 12 (un­suit­able for Or­tho­dox read­ers, as Finkel em­pha­sises Atra-ha­sis pre-dates the Bi­ble).

Re­viewed by Madeleine Kings­ley

Sadie’s Snowy Tu B’She­vat

Truly Madly Awk­ward Beth Gar­rod

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