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In the Days of Sand and Stars [Hardcover]

Marlee Pinsker , Francois Thisdale

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Book Description

Sept. 12 2006
Take out your time telescope, wipe the dust and cobwebs from its lens, tilt it upwards, and find a twinkling speck of light. Now look behind it … way back, to the days of sand and stars.

Here are the Midrash stories of famous women whose names you may know, but whose daily lives and human thoughts have been ignored for far too long. From Eve to Emzera, from Sarah to Rebecca, they are presented here with humor and affection as they face a new and changing world where miracles and customs shape their destiny.

Midrash tales are what-if stories built around the grains of information the Bible offers, and author Marlee Pinsker excels as she imbues these legendary women with warmth and spirit.

A wonderful gift book for anyone, but especially meaningful for Bat Mitzvahs and Confirmations, In the Days of Sand and Stars is an impressive, straightforward collection, sparse and clear in
its telling.

Quebec artist, François Thisdale has produced a marvelous collection of images with his “time telescope” and digital expertise. Through his talents we see all of these very human women in moments of reflection, tenderness, ingenuity, and wonder.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 88 pages
  • Publisher: Tundra Books (Sept. 12 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0887767249
  • ISBN-13: 978-0887767241
  • Product Dimensions: 25.8 x 21.9 x 1.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 567 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,021,291 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From School Library Journal

Grade 5–9—Eight women of the Bible star in 10 imaginative stories. Eve speaks the language of the animals and the Earth and dares to speak to God, asking unanswered questions. Naamah, Noah's wife, learns to talk to the animals, too, persuading them to cooperate on the ark. Sarai is tormented by her brother for mistreating the family god, yet she inspires Avram to smash his father's idols; and 90-year-old Sarah awaits the birth of her first child. Rebecca finds a husband, and then hears God foretell her twin sons' futures. Leah envies Rachel her beauty and Jacob's love. Rachel worries about the future of her sole son, Joseph, and helps Jacob with husbandry. Dina suffers (unspecified) violence, and makes a colored coat. In Egypt, Yocheved, Moses's mother, learns her people's stories. Pinsker gives her settings specific details, her characters individuality, and their stories threads of connection. Occasionally a contemporary note clangs against the ancient vessel, but mostly the tales will hold readers' attention and offer inspiration. The digitally rendered, soft-focus montage illustrations are a reminder that midrash, too, blends the realistic, the traditional, and the imagined.—Patricia D. Lothrop, St. George's School, Newport, RI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

There have been a number of books that retell Bible stories in the style of midrash, or, as Pinsker puts it, weaving "stories into the areas in which the text is silent." Although this is Pinsker's first book, she is exceptionally adept at doing just that, finding untold tales in the lives of Eve, Rebecca, Noah's wife, and others. In the story "Sarah at the Well," 90-year-old Sarah laughs at her pregnancy, a laugh that even God says is a gift to her people. The rivalry between sisters is burnished brightly in "Leah and Rachel," and in "Yocheved, God's Glory," Moses' mother, as a girl, is raised on stories of the old days when the Hebrews were a proud people, never dreaming that she will restore their pride. Pinsker works like a musician, playing with words instead of notes, but the result is just as lilting and lyrical. The stories are matched by unusual illustrations. Thisdale blends traditional artwork with digital technology. Pieces of photographs mix with ancient elements, giving the pictures a fresh, compelling look. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In the Days of Sand and Stars March 13 2007
By Jewish Book World Magazine - Published on Amazon.com
Marlee Pinsker relates these tales about ten Biblical women in the style of midrash, " weaving stories into the areas in which the text is silent, giving voices to the people we want to understand." She says "in this way we imagine ourselves into the words of the Bible and bring its meaning forward, into our own lives." Her skillful writing brings her characters to life and makes these women seem real. There are chapters about Eve eating the apple, Noah's wife Naamah, and Sarah, who is amazed to find herself pregnant at the age of ninety and laughs at the miracle. We also read about Rebecca, Leah, Rachel, Dina and finally, Moses's mother, Yochaved. We experience Dina weaving Joseph his coat of many colors, and Yochaved as a child, before she is the mother of Moses, forced to work gathering straw for bricks while hearing her nurse's stories about her people before they were Pharoah's slaves.

Thisdale combines traditional drawing and painting techniques with digital technology to create multi-textured images, which give his illustrations a dreamy, ethereal quality and compliment the stories beautifully. The author's lyrical use of language makes this illustrated book a natural to read-aloud. The book successfully connects the lives of these Biblical women who lived "in the days of sand and stars," to each other and to our lives today. Remember this book the next time a Bat Mitzvah gift is needed.

Ages 10 and up.

Reviewed by Andrea Davidson
5.0 out of 5 stars A 2007 Association of Jewish Libraries Notable Book for Older Readers Jan. 28 2007
By Rachel Kamin - Published on Amazon.com
In ten short stories, Marlee Pinsker lends a new voice to the women of the bible - those whose lives are given short shrift in the original text. These are beautiful, imaginative and spiritual imaginings of how these women might have felt, of the spirit, wisdom, humor and love they might have had. The lyrical and poetic language quickly draws the reader into the lives of each character. And so we are exposed to an Eve who was full of wonder and curiosity at all she saw around her, a Naamah who understood the language of the animals on the ark, a Leah who was full of love, and jealousy, for her sister Rachel. Each story stands on its own, yet each is connected by an invisible thread that evokes the feeling of family history being told. Gorgeous illustrations that are both muted and richly detailed lend a sense of grace to these tales. REVIEWED BY NANCY AUSTEIN (Temple Emanu-El, Dallas, TX)
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful book, wonderfully told Bible stories Sept. 2 2012
By Heidi - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This bible stories in this book are beautifully and imaginatively conceived and written, and the illustrations are perfect. It would make a wonderful gift for young teens. I highly recommend it!
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous images with tales perfect for read-aloud. Dec 9 2006
By Midwest Book Review - Published on Amazon.com
Francois Thisdale adds lovely drawings to these Biblical Midrashic stories of famous women from Eve to Rebecca, whose lives were affected by miracles, possibilities, and change. Midrashic tales are 'what if' stories built around Biblical tales, and here come to life pairing gorgeous images with tales perfect for read-aloud.

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