Book Review | Papa Jethro
by Deborah Bodin Cohen

Score: 4

Illustrated by Jane Dippold.

© 2007 Kar-Ben Publishing

This book brought tears to my eyes and gave me goose bumps. What a beautiful gift for an interfaith family- a bedtime story for the other faith grandparents to read to their Jewish grandchildren. With lovely, soft, warm illustrations, we read the story of Rachel and her Grandpa Nick as he tells her the Midrash (an interpretive story based on a verse in the Hebrew Bible) of Jethro – Moses’ father-in-law, a Midian priest – and his grandson, Gershon. The text is simple, dear and delightful. If the end of the book does not bring at least a mist to your eyes, I would check your heartbeat.

As someone who has worked with interfaith couples on a daily basis, I believe this book has a place in every Jewish library with an interfaith population. In fact, you should have at least two copies. My bet is they will be checked out often and repeatedly, especially when grandparents come visiting. This book finds the common ground where so often people in these situations fail to look – in the love and trust between a grandchild and a grandparent.

Grade: PreK-3

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