CHILDREN'S LITERATURE


This entry is arranged according to the following outline:

INTRODUCTION
CHILDREN'S LITERATURE IN HEBREW
    Early Period
        BIBLICAL PERIOD (UNTIL 200 B.C.E.)
        MISHNAIC-TALMUDIC PERIOD
        MEDIEVAL PERIOD
    Modern Period
        EUROPE
        EREẒ ISRAEL AND THE STATE OF ISRAEL
        IN THE UNITED STATES
CHILDREN'S LITERATURE IN YIDDISH
    In Europe
    In the United States
CHILDREN'S LITERATURE IN LADINO
    In the 20th Century
HOLOCAUST LITERATURE
CHILDREN'S LITERATURE IN ENGLISH AND OTHER LANGUAGES
    English
        GREAT BRITAIN
        UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
        LATER TRENDS
    Other Languages
        FRENCH
        GERMAN
        ITALIAN AND DUTCH
        ROMANIAN
        HUNGARIAN
        RUSSIAN
        POLISH
        CZECH AND SERBO-CROATIAN
        IN LATIN AMERICA

INTRODUCTION

The term children's literature in this article is applied to different types of literary works. Up to the end of the 18th century it refers to literature whose style and treatment of content is also suitable for a young readership (age group 4–14 approx.); in the modern period it denotes works written specifically for children and compositions by children whose subject matter and theme do not necessarily fall into the adolescent category, for example, some of the Holocaust literature by children.

CHILDREN'S LITERATURE IN HEBREW

While until modern times very little literature was written for children, there is no doubt that some of the biblical and post-biblical Hebrew literature was widely read by the young and was part of the curriculum in Jewish education. It was only with the rise of interest in children's education – the development of pedagogical methodology and child psychology – that a real children's literature began to be composed.

Early Period

BIBLICAL PERIOD (UNTIL 200 B.C.E.)
.

In early times, the first literary writings composed for children might have been proverbs and the young probably learned by heart short maxims designed to teach them moral norms and proper behavior. Many of the proverbs were later written down and incorporated into early Hebrew literature: "Hear, my son, the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the teaching of thy mother" (Prov. 1:8). Undoubtedly, the Hebrew child was also an avid listener to the recitations of itinerant poets and storytellers, or to the legends and parables narrated by the elders and prophets sitting at the town gates. Biblical tales had a profound influence on the development of children's literature in general and Hebrew literature for children in particular.

MISHNAIC-TALMUDIC PERIOD

During the mishnaic-talmudic period the scope of education was enlarged and schools were established. Children learned to read the tales of the Bible: "How does a man learn Torah? First by reading the scroll and then the book" (Deut. R. 8:3). Isaac Baer *Levinsohn, in his Te'udah be-Yisrael, infers from this passage that in those days the teachers had small scrolls containing stories and parables which they used in the education of the children. Legends and folktales, which had also gained popularity, were taught and the sages praised the "masters of the legend, who draw man's heart like water" (Ḥag. 14a). The many legends and parables scattered throughout the Talmud and the Midrash, with their charm and simplicity, attracted children in every generation. The numerous collections and versions in which these have appeared bear witness to this phenomenon.

MEDIEVAL PERIOD

From the beginning of the Diaspora to the Haskalah, Jewish education was almost exclusively religious. The standard books at home or at school were the Bible, the Talmud, the Midrashim, and prayer books. From time to time, however, writers and scholars composed popular literary works which captivated young readers. Among these were Isaac ibn *Sahula's Mashal ha-Kadmoni, a 13th-century work written in rhymed prose (*maqama), comprising parables, stories, and tales (Soncino, 1480); *Berechiah b. Natronai ha-Nakdan's Mishlei Shu'alim, written in France in the 13th century and containing revised and translated versions of animal fables (Mantua, 1557); and Jacob ibn Ḥabib's Ein Ya'akov, a collection of legends from the Talmud (Salonika, 1516), of which special versions for the particular needs of children were published.

Despite conservative teaching methods, many textbooks were published from the beginning of the 16th century, including books on grammar, on the Hebrew language, on letter-writing, and on ethical conduct. They were not specifically for children and rarely contained material that had literary value. Petaḥ Sefat Ever li-Yladim, by Abraham *Cohen (Vienna, 1745), was an exception; it includes parables and short legends. Side by side with this written literature, there existed an oral children's tradition: stories told by inspired teachers, mothers, and grandmothers, and the lullabies they sang. Some of these were eventually printed.

[Uriel Ofek]

Modern Period

The history of European Jewish-Hebrew and Hebrew literature, which dates back to 1779, as well as the history of Ereẓ-Israeli and Israeli Hebrew children's literature, is the history of an ideologically oriented attempt to build a new literary system and simultaneously generate the field of its consumers and producers. It is a history characterized by strong ideological inclinations as well as delayed developments, until Israeli children's literature was structured similarly to the European systems which it sought to emulate from its outset.

The peculiar circumstances of its development in the course of its more than 200-year history involve the special status of the Hebrew language as the language of high culture rather than the native language of its readership, as well as the multiterritorial existence of Hebrew culture, a situation which ended only when the center of Hebrew culture was categorically transferred to Ereẓ Israel in the mid-1920s.

EUROPE

Books for Jewish children or passages addressing children in texts or manuscripts for adults were written in Europe for as long as Jewish communities were in existence. In fact, one of the first acts of a Jewish community in the process of establishing its communal life was the creation of an educational system for children.

Every community facing the challenge of children's education responded to it, inter alia, by the production of texts for children. These texts endeavored to offer practical roads to the kind of socialization and identity the community wished to construct. Every community and every social group offered different solutions to these two issues: the issue of identity and the issue of socialization.

References to Jewish children as consumers of various Hebrew texts are to be found from the Middle Ages onward in various Jewish texts. From the 12th century, certain texts, taken mostly from the broader domain of Jewish literature – the Bible, the Talmud, commentaries on the Talmud, and prayer books – were used for educating the young. Several scholars believe that some passages were included in the Haggadah explicitly for the use of children. In the 16th and 17th centuries, there were increasing efforts to write texts specifically for children, mostly in the form of catechisms. However, these became a socially recognized phenomenon only towards the end of the 18th century, with the emergence and crystallization of the modern concept of childhood; as in the case with European children's literatures such a concept was a precondition for the development of Jewish-Hebrew children's literature. Nevertheless, Jewish-Hebrew children's literature required in addition a substantial modification of the basic views of Jewish society, in particular those concerning children's education and attitudes towards the non-Jewish world, in order to make possible the development of a distinct and autonomous system of children's books. Only when such a change occurred at the end of the 18th century within the framework of the *Haskalah (Jewish Enlightenment) movement in Germany was there culturally room for books for Jewish children in the modern sense.

The Haskalah movement believed that in order to shape a new mode of Jewish life and to change the Jewish world view into a modern and enlightened one, a total reform in the Jewish educational system must take place, basing the curriculum on a rational and non-religious foundation. The curriculum of its new network of schools proposed such a change and ultimately created a demand for new and different books. This was marked in 1779 by the publication of David Friedlaender's Lesebuch fuer juedische Kinder (Berlin 1779, edited with the help of Moses Mendelssohn), for the use of the Juedische Freischule zu Berlin's students. Its publication signified a turning point in the history of books for Jewish children, primarily because it was the first to declare itself as a Lesebuch (reader) in the modern sense of the notion, and secondly, because it gave expression to the social and cultural maskilic project in which books for children played an important role in distributing maskilic tenets and ideologies. The Lesebuch represented a unique attempt to translate the ideology of the Haskalah movement into practical terms, and reflected a unique effort to create a symbiosis between the German and the Jewish cultures, where the similarities between the two cultures were emphasized and points of appropriation were searched for. These two principles were beyond the need to publish maskilic books for children which would be distinctly different from the books published in the framework of the traditional former system, naturally unequipped to meet Haskalah demands. As a result, dozens of non-religious books were published during the Haskalah in the German-speaking world.

At first the books were written in Hebrew and German or in a bilingual format. Hebrew was used mainly in grammars and Lesebuecher, and to a lesser extent in literary translations and the few original works. Some of the books were bilingual – a side-by-side presentation of Hebrew and German. Towards the beginning of the 19th century writing in German became more and more predominant with the exception of grammar books, which continued to be published in Hebrew.

The maskilic texts could not be based on the traditional models of the Hebrew book and the new system had to find models upon which its repertoire could be constructed. In light of the close relations between the Haskalah and the German Enlightenment, books of the German Enlightenment were an ideal, if not the most desirable, model for imitation. As a result, dozens of books were written and published, all modeled on the German repertoire of books for children. The new system of books for Jewish children endeavored to follow German children's literature both in its stages of development and in the nature of its repertoire. However, in agreement with its internal ideological needs, it adapted itself to an earlier stage of development of German children's literature and not to that current at the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th.

The concrete ways in which Haskalah used the German system was determined by its interpretation of the evolution of the children's literature of the German Enlightenment and of its repertoire. This process involved the translation of concepts and ideas which was not necessarily in accordance with the ways German children's literature viewed itself. Furthermore, once Jewish-Hebrew children's literature had created a certain image of German children's literature, this image was sustained for a long time without really taking heed of the changes and developments taking place within German literature itself. Jewish-Hebrew children's literature was characterized by the monolithic nature of its texts, and even in later stages of its development Jewish writers adhered to a limited number of textual models and seldom deviated from this fixed repertoire. It was almost as though at a given point in time certain models, texts, and processes of development in the evolution of German children's literature were joined to form a circle, which later became the sole frame of reference for the system of books for Jewish children for almost an entire century. This frame of reference consisted mainly of the translation of German Enlightenment texts, or the production of a small number of original Hebrew texts based on the German. Translated texts were in fact privileged to the extent that, to the best of our knowledge, all books for children published by the Haskalah in Germany were either official translations, pseudo-translations, or original texts based on existing German models.

The eligibility of texts for translation was determined by the extent to which they reflected the ideological inclinations of the Haskalah. Consequently, German texts were translated if they were written by German Enlightenment writers, and or if they explicitly conveyed Haskalah values.

These principles of selection resulted in an abundance of moralistic poems, fables, instructive texts, and geography books, and the total exclusion of fictional narratives, such as short stories and novels, until the mid-19th century. Most popular were biblical stories in accordance with the preference for Jewish themes Avtalion Biblische Historien, German and Hebrew fables (by Berachiah ha-Nakdan, Magnus Gottfried Lichtwer, Christian Gellert, Albrecht von Haller, and Friedrich von Hagedorn, or of ancient writers like Aesop), para-scientific texts which were characterized by an attempt to introduce new scientific ideas (Baruch Linda's Reshit Limudim, parts 1 and 2, Berlin, Dessau, 1788, which was based on the German Naturgeschichte fuer Kinder, by Georg Christian Raff), or Isaac Satanow's Mishlei Asaf in three parts (Berlin, 1789, 1792, 1793), and Meggilat Ḥasidim (Berlin, 1802), as well as instructive texts (predominantly translations of Campe: Robinson der Juengere (Breslau, 1824; Warsaw, 1849; Przemysl, 1872 [5672]; Die Entdeckung von Amerika, (Altona, 1807 [5567]; 1810 cannot be traced; Vilna, 1823 [5583]; Breslau, 1824 [5584]; Lemberg, 1846; Merkwürdige Reisebeschreibungen (Lemberg, 1818 [5578]; Yafo, 1912 [5672]; Theophron (Odessa, 1863); and Sittenbuecher fuer Kinder aus gesitteten Staenden (Breslau, 1819; Prague, 1831; Odessa, 1866; Warsaw, 1882)).

These texts continued to be present on the Jewish scene long after the cultural center had been transferred to Eastern Europe. Thus, the books for children transcended geographical boundaries and the boundaries between the centers of Hebrew-Jewish culture in Europe. Books for children also transcended the boundaries of the addressee, and texts written for children addressed adults almost until the end of the 19th century. More often than not, the same texts were published for adults as well as for children. Literary material which was first published by various Jewish periodicals was later recycled in the form of readers for children. These readers frequently served as reading material for adult Jews, especially of who had no formal education, paving their way into a modern world. Para-scientific books were read by adults, indeed, sometimes primarily by adults. In fact, it may be assumed that the label "a book for children" was occasionally used more as a cover than as an indication of a "real" addressee. It could function as a cover because the children's system, owing to its peripheral position in culture, stood less chance of being closely scrutinized and was therefore often a convenient vehicle for the introduction of new and hitherto prohibited texts and models.

With the transfer of the center of Hebrew culture to Eastern Europe (mostly to Poland and Russia) and especially in the framework of the Ḥibbat Zion and Ha-Teḥiyyah movements, the Hebrew language regained its dominance in texts for children. It is in those years that the basis of Hebrew children's literature was established and for the first time it formed a system distinct from other systems of Hebrew culture. It was shaped as a system different from other systems of books for Jewish children which continued to exist in Europe until World War II (in Yiddish or in the local languages: German, Russian, and Polish).

At the end of the 19th century, Hebrew children's literature in Europe underwent a change, which stemmed primarily from the establishment of an educational system in Hebrew intended to promote the national revival. Societies and organizations were founded in Europe with the aim of disseminating the Zionist idea, national education, and the Hebrew language through educational institutions. The aim of the Safah Berurah (Clear Language) and Ḥovevei Sefat Ever (Lovers of Hebrew) societies was to transform Hebrew from a literary language into a spoken language by founding Hebrew schools in which Hebrew was spoken and by the publication of children's books. One of its outcomes was the establishment of the *Moriah publishing house. Founded in Odessa in January 1902 by Yehoshua Ḥana *Rawnitzki, Shin *Ben-Zion (Simḥah Alter Gutmann), and Ḥayyim Naḥman *Bialik, Moriah was active primarily in publishing basic books, textbooks, and readers for schools. Its first project was the publication of five volumes of Bible stories (1902 and thereafter), which was very successful. In the first year of publication, the first volume was printed in five editions. Its second large project was a compilation of Hebrew legends (aggadot) adapted for youth, in six volumes, because Bialik believed that legend was at the time the only original literature for children in Hebrew. From 1910, Moriah also began publishing literature for young readers in a series called "the Moriah library for youth," which included original books written mainly by writers for adults, among them *Shalom Aleichem, Mendele Mokher Seforim (Sholem Yankev *Abramovitsh), Sholem *Asch, Aaron A. *Kabak, Shin Ben-Zion, M. *Berdyczewski, Eliyahu Miednik, and Meir Siko (Meir *Smilansky). In parallel, Rawnitzki and Bialik published translated literature printed by the Turgeman publishing house, which was founded in 1911 in the framework of Achinoar books and issued translations of classic children's books such as The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Hebrew title Me'ora'ot Tom), Pictures from the Life of Youth in America (1910, translated by Israel Ḥayyim Tawiow), Don Quixote (1911, translated by Bialik), Spartacus (1911, translated by Jabotinsky), A Thousand and One Nights (1912, translated by David Yellin), Grimm's Fairy Tales (1919, translated by David Frischmann), and others. After the revolution in Russia, the publishing house discontinued its operations.

The most active publishing house for children in Eastern Europe was Tushiyah, headed by Ben-Avigdor. In the course of three years, from 1895, Tushiyah issued about 300 booklets in its Library for Youth in the form of two series: "for children" and "for young adults." Most of these were adaptations of classics by Grimm, Hugo, Gustafsson, Pushkin, Tolstoy, D'Amicis, and Thomas Mayne Reid. A small number were original works, such as Ba-Ir u-va-Ya'ar by Judah Steinberg, Kol Aggadot Yisrael by Israel Benjamin Levner, and Le-Ma'an Aḥai ha-Ketanim by Aharon Liboshitski

On the whole, translated literature continued to play an important role in the development of Jewish-Hebrew children's literature in Eastern Europe. Since contacts with the surrounding and neighboring cultures were strongly endorsed by the men of letters, Jewish-Hebrew children's literature tended to translate extensively as well as to use translated texts as models for original writing of Hebrew texts. For instance, Judah Steinberg, the author of the fables in Ba-Ir u-va-Ya'ar (1896, Odessa), which enjoyed much popularity and a wide readership, was called "the Hebrew Andersen," comparing him to a respected foreign example.

At the outset, the publication of Hebrew books for Jewish children in Europe in the 19th century gained great momentum. It was the first time in the history of modern Jewish-Hebrew children's literature that books for children were methodically published, out of a desire to build a complete system with a rich repertoire. Nearly all the big Hebrew publishing houses in Europe were involved in publishing Hebrew children's literature as well as newspapers and periodicals for children in Hebrew. Their motivation was both ideological and economic. A relatively large group of authors began writing for children. Some of them wrote primarily for children or only for children. A few were particularly prolific: Judah *Steinberg, Aaron *Liboshitzki, Solomon Berman, Judah Leib *Levin, Israel Ḥayyim *Tawiow, Noah Pines, Itzhak Berkman (*Katznelson), and Israel Benjamin *Levner, the last writing more than 25 books, some of which became bestsellers.

The flourishing publishing activity early in the century ended in a crisis. The number of publishing houses engaged in publishing children's books was greater than the demand of the market, and some of the publishers had to slow down or totally discontinue their activity. Some attempts were made in Warsaw to found publishing houses for children's books, such as Barkai and Ophir, but they did not succeed.

In 1911, Ben-Avigdor attempted to cope with the crisis by establishing a federation of publishing houses called Central, which also included Shrebrek, Progress, and Ha-Shaḥar. Central later merged with the Sifrut publishing house. After World War I, the publishing house recovered and remained in operation as a publisher of readers and books for children and young adults almost until World War II.

The establishment of the *Tarbut educational system in 1922, which operated in the interwar period in Poland, Romania, the Baltic states, and Russia in 200 elementary schools and kindergartens, secondary schools, and teachers' seminaries, created the need for the continuation of the existence of Hebrew children's literature in Europe, even after the center of Hebrew literature in Europe had declined. For a short period, Tarbut was successful because of the awakening of national consciousness. Hebrew became a spoken language in hundreds of schools, and an attempt was made to maintain the publication of Hebrew books at any cost, as well as to establish new publishing houses to replace those that had closed down or curtailed their activity during the war. Most of these publishing houses, like Senunit (1919); the Temarim illustrated library (1920); Bibliotheka Universalit (1919–20), and Sifriyat ha-Ḥinukh he-Ḥadash (1928) were supported by various educational institutions but received their major support from Tarbut. As long as a Hebrew school system existed in Europe, there was a justification for maintaining literature in Hebrew for Jewish children, and books in Hebrew continued to come out almost until the outbreak of World War II.

Nevertheless, despite the comprehensive educational project of Tarbut, Hebrew children's literature was still written in most cases for children whose mother tongue was not Hebrew. Even the overwhelming success of Abvraham *Mapu's Ahavat Zion 1853, Vilna) which continued to be a best seller among young and old until the end of the 19th century, could not change the fact that it never became a "native literature." This resulted in a gap between the insufficient demand, on the one hand, and the superfluous supply, on the other, which made the system unstable and fragile and caused recurrent economic crises.

Writers for children in Eastern Europe continued to regard Hebrew children's literature as an educational tool and consequently wrote texts with a didactic orientation. At this stage, Hebrew children's literature still tolerated only one criterion for the rejection or acceptance of texts for children: the extent of their conformity to didactic and/or ideological tenets. As a result of the circumstances of its existence, Hebrew children's literature in Europe maintained its superficial existence and was unable to release itself from the ideological frameworks which determined its character. The ideological hegemony resulted in the system's remaining incomplete for a considerable period, lacking some of the sub-systems existing in other European children's literatures at the time. In fact, Hebrew children's literature managed to liberate itself from the exclusive hegemony of ideology only much later in Ereẓ Israel and mainly after the foundation of the state of Israel, where Hebrew children's literature as a "native literature" developed into a heterogeneous and diversified system.

EREẒ ISRAEL AND THE STATE OF ISRAEL

The case of Hebrew children's literature in Ereẓ Israel was completely different. Already in the late 1880s, several decades before the establishment of a system of adult literature, children's literature began to develop in Ereẓ Israel. This means that the first literary system that developed in Ereẓ Israel was that of books for children, though it was stabilized only after the literary center had definitely been transferred to Ereẓ Israel, i.e., in the mid-1920s.

The first texts for children were educational texts – readers and textbooks, such as Eliezer *Ben-Yehuda's geography book 1813 le-Ḥurban Mikdashenu, 5643 (1883), David *Yellin and Ben-Yehuda's first reader for children, Mikra le-Yaldei benei Yisrael, 5647 (1887), which included about 20 revised talmudic legends and parables of the sages in simple Hebrew; Yehudah Grasovski, Ḥayyim Ẓifrin, and David Yudelevitch's Bet ha-Sefer li-Venei Yisrael, 5651 (1891); Ben-Yehuda's Kiẓẓur Divrei ha-Yamim li-Venei Yisrael, 5652 (1892), and Mordekhai Lubman's Siḥot bi-Yediot ha-Teva, 5652 (1892). Later they were followed by some literary texts for leisure which included stories, poems, fables, legends, and moral tales, such as Grazovski and Arye Horovitz's series Seḥiyat ha-Ḥemdah le-Yaldei Benei Yisrael (eight translated booklets), 5652 (1892), and Grazovski, Ẓifrin and Yudelevitch's Sha'ashuim Yom Yom, 5652 (1892).

But when the system of Hebrew education adopted the method of teaching "Hebrew in Hebrew" the scraps could not satisfy the appetite of a lion. Once this method was adopted, the Hebrew language was much more powerfully disseminated, as the schools became the major agents of its distribution. In the process of the creation of Hebrew as the language of the culture of the Yishuv, children were viewed as a vehicle for distributing the new Hebrew culture and their teachers as the main soldiers in an army participating in this war. Ben-Yehuda, as well as major political figures such as Menahem *Ussishkin and Ze'ev *Jabotinsky spoke explicitly about the decisive role of the children and their educators in this national project of creating a new secular Hebrew culture.

Teaching in Hebrew in a Hebrew environment created for the first time in the history of Hebrew children's literature a genuine readership. This readership generated an urgent and immediate need for adequate texts for children in all the fields of child culture. Fulfilling the demand was not an easy task. The relation between demand and supply was just the opposite of the one prevalent in Europe. Memoirs of teachers relate time and again how difficult it was to find in Ereẓ Israel adequate books for children. In fact, until the 1920s, the publishing center of Hebrew children's literature was still in Europe and the needs of the system in Palestine were largely filled through books published in Europe. Furthermore, books by writers who had already settled in Ereẓ Israel at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th were published mainly in Warsaw, Odessa, and to some extent Cracow, even if they were first published in Jerusalem. For example, Ze'ev Jawitz's book Tal Yaldut intended for the children of Palestine, was published in Vilna in 1897 and was also distributed for the use of Hebrew schools in Eastern Europe. Kiẓẓur Divrei ha-Yamim li-Venei Yisrael be-Shivtam al Admatam (Jerusalem, 1892) by Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, was also published in Vilna in 1906. Yehuda Grazovski's reader, Bet Sefer Ivri (Jerusalem, 1895–97), was published in Warsaw in 1912. Ze'ev Jawitz's Divrei ha-Yamim (Jerusalem, 1890) was published in an expanded edition in Warsaw in 1893. Yehudah Grazovski's Ḥanukkah was published in Odessa (1892) and then in Warsaw (1920) as well as his Mi-Sippurei Anderson (Odessa, 1893); Hemdah *Ben-Yehudah's Me-Hayyei ha-Yeladim be-Ereẓ Yisrael was published in Warsaw (1899), as well as her Bimei ha-Baẓẓir (Cracow, 1906). Kadish Leib (Yehudah) *Silman's Ha-Ḥashmonayim ha-Ketanim was published in Warsaw (1911).

However, already in the early 1920s books written and published in Europe were rejected as being inadequate for children growing up in Ereẓ Israel. European Hebrew children's literature, whose circumstances of development were drastically different from those of Ereẓ Israel, could not serve anymore as a reservoir of models and texts. Unlike the case of Hebrew literature for adults, where the transfer to Ereẓ Israel implied continuity in terms of the repertoire of the system, Hebrew children's literature, facing new needs, had to orient its development to new and different grounds.

During the first three decades of the 20th century, the creation of a children's culture in Ereẓ Israel demanded the construction from scratch of all its components, ranging from children's songs to fairy tales, stories, novels, and non-fiction prose, from schoolbooks to Hanukkah, Tu Bi-Shevat, and Passover poems as well as to the ceremonies in schools and kindergartens. The scarcity of schoolbooks overshadowed any other deficiencies of the child culture and consequently the needs and demands of the educational system enjoyed first priority.

The Kohelet publishing house, established by the Teachers Union in Ereẓ Israel in 5665 (1905), played a major role in this undertaking. Kohelet concentrated at first on supplementing the most urgent needs of the educational system and thus published very few literary texts for leisure. It published schoolbooks, a geographical lexicon, and a zoology book and after World War I began issuing literary texts in the series Oẓar ha-Talmid. Given however, the necessity to create a child culture from scratch, schoolbooks also included original poems and stories and served as reading material for leisure.

During World War I hardly any books for children were published, except for few that were issued in the framework of the project of the *Palestine Office of the Zionist Organization. The Palestine Office created a committee at the beginning of the war to produce a comprehensive program for the translation of masterpieces of world literature, among which several children's books were included. Two other minor projects were responsible for the publication of several booklets: Ha-Mashtelah, which was established in Jerusalem in 1915 and issued five booklets and Sifriyah Ketanah li-Yeladim, which was established in Jaffa in 1916 and issued 55 booklets.

Most of the schoolbooks published between 1905 and 1923 were written by a new group of teachers, among whom the three teachers of the Girls' School in Jaffa were the most prominent: Mordekhai Ezraḥi (Krishevsky), Yosef Azaryahu (Ozarkovski), and Yeḥi'el Yeḥi'eli (Jochelchik). Along with purely educational considerations, the activities of the group were also – and perhaps mainly – guided by national considerations and the desire to create a new type of Jew. To this end, they attempted to compile a repertoire for everyday behavior and renovated ceremonies to replace the traditional religious ceremonies. In this framework they published several schoolbooks and readers, partially written by them and partially taken from other sources. One of their readers – Sifrenu (1919–21) – became especially widespread. The Sifrenu series was widely acclaimed, published in approximately 20 editions, and used by most of the Hebrew schools throughout the country; *as late as 1935 a revised version entitled Karmenu was still being published.

These texts endeavored to present an "autochthonic Hebrew child" by the use of several devices, among which the most conspicuous were representation of the "native" way of speaking (through the introduction of many dialogues) and repeated descriptions of various local settings in Ereẓ Israel. The texts offered clear-cut opposition between the child of Ereẓ Israel and that of the Diaspora, emphasizing the outdoor life of a child in Ereẓ Israel as compared with the indoor settings of the child of the Diaspora. The Hebrew child was presented as free, even naughty, self-confident and attached to the Land of Israel, engaged in new activities such as excursions to places linked to the ancient history of "the people of Israel" and singing the "songs of Zion." The textual plots usually consisted of a juxtaposition of events of ancient (biblical) history and current events in Ereẓ Israel.

In the 1930s the addressee of Hebrew children's literature was already a child for whom Hebrew was a native language, and very often his only language. Hebrew children's literature was no longer seen in the 1930s as a means of disseminating the Hebrew language, but it was still regarded as a means of disseminating national values and cultivating national yearnings as well as promoting ideological tenets. The leadership of the Yishuv coopted Hebrew children's literature as a major vehicle for educating the young and molding their character. Most writers for children were teachers and educators who, with the exception of Levin Kipnis, were politically defined and continued writing along the same lines as their predecessors. Most prominent among them were Eliezer Smoly, Ẓevi Livneh (Liberman), and Bracha Habas.

The framework of writing for children was indoctrinarian, as can be seen, for example, in the works of Bracha Habas. One of the most prominent figures in the field of children's literature—an editor and author at the *Histadrut's Youth Center, which had been founded by Berl *Katznelson—and publishing regularly as a journalist for Davar and Davar li-Yeladim, Bracha Habas presented in her texts the narrative of an evolving nation, in which the Jewish community was fighting for its life and homeland. It was characterized by an attempt to present an ideal of the Hebrew individual consisting of his perfect conduct and his authentic language. The books also constructed national heroes and offered descriptions of the landscape of Ereẓ Israel, as well as encouraging aliyah (immigration to Ereẓ Israel). In terms of their values these writings promoted the agenda of the Zionist mainstream: self-sacrifice for the sake of the state in-the-making, national pride, love of the soil, agriculture work, and life in a collective.

This was true even for non-recruited literature, such as Yemimah *Tshernowitch-Avidar's Shemona be-Ikevot Eḥad and Naḥum Gutman's Ha-Ḥofesh ha-Gadol, o Ta'alumot ha-Argazim. It was even true for lullabies, such as Shir Eres by Emmanuel Harussi, which reads: "The granary of Tel Yosef is set on fire/ smoke also comes out of Bet Alpha/ but you should not cry anymore/ lay down, nap and sleep"

However, not all writers were required to comply with ideological demands, certainly not the most prestigious writers for adults such as Ḥayyim Naḥman Bialik, Saul *Tchernichowsky, Zalman *Shneour, Jacob *Fichmann, and Devorah *Baron, who regarded their writing for children as a national task, an indispensable component of the creation of the new nation.

The involvement of prestigious writers for adults in the writing for children continued to characterize Hebrew children's literature in the 1930s and 1940s, though they did not necessarily regard their writing for children as serving ideological aims. The texts of prominent modernistic poets such as Abraham *Shlonsky, Nathan *Alterman, and Lea *Goldberg later became classics of Hebrew children's literature. At the same time a specific group of professional writers for children began to emerge. This process of differentiation, whose first buds can be traced back to the late 1930s, was fully manifested in the 1950s with writers such as Yemimah Tshernowitch-Avidar, Yaakov *Churgin, Anda *Amir-Pinkerfeld, Miriam *Yalan-Stekelis, Fania *Bergstein, and Aharon Ze'ev.

One of the means of filling out the system as quickly as possible and approximating the conditions of European culture was by translation, which was reinforced by the wish to prove that all the child's educational and cultural needs could indeed be supplied in Hebrew. This made the translation of the so-called children's classics a priority. In light of the almost monolithic character of the original texts, the variety of the repertoire was achieved through translation. Already before World War I several translations of books for children had been published: Jules Verne's Seviv ha-Areẓ bi-Shemonim Yom (Around the World in 80 Days, translated by Ben-Yehuda, 5661 (1901)) and Karl Gutzkow's Uriel Akosta, translated by the teachers of the girls' school in Jaffa, Jerusalem, 1906). Later on some publishers began specializing in translated literature for children. Most prominent among them was Omanut, which published translated literature almost exclusively (in 1932, for example, Omanut published 30 translated books and one original). Until 1944, when it was closed down, Omanut published almost 500 translated books from among the best known classics, mostly translations from German and Russian. In the 1940s and 1950s Am Oved and Sifriyat ha-Po'alim concentrated on publishing translated literature. The books published by Sifriyat ha-Po'alim gave expression to its world view. Most of them were translated from the Russian and were deeply immersed in Soviet culture. The Shaḥrut series of Am Oved, on the other hand, concentrated on translations of classics such as Yotam Ha-Kasam and Ziknei Bet ha-Sefer be-Vilbay, or books with Jewish themes, such as George Eliot's. In fact, several publishers adopted the criterion of Jewish themes as determining their editorial selection. For instance, in the framework of the Dorot series of the Yizrael publishing house were published the 12 volumes of Zikhronot le-Vet David as well as adaptations of Meir Lehmann, Ludwig Philippson, George Eliot, and Benjamin d'Israeli

During the 1940s the narratives characterizing texts for children were in several respects a continuation of the previous ones: Hebrew children's literature continued to be an engaged literature, subjugated to ideological tenets. Ereẓ Israel was still presented as the antithesis of the Diaspora. The characterization of the protagonists remained the same: assertive children, independent, lovers of nature, and native speakers of Hebrew. Special place was given to historical heroes of the near or ancient past, like Judah Maccabee, Joseph Trumpeldor, and Alexander Zeid, who shared similar traits: courageous, motivated by their love for their country, working its soil, honest and moral, and prepared to give their lives in defense of its people and its land. The archetypal protagonist was involved in events in which enemies were endangering the land and people of Israel and injuring their national pride. Defending the people and the land, the protagonists restore their dignity and often die heroic deaths.

Much place continued to be given to the descriptions of Ereẓ Israeli holidays and festivals which replaced the traditional ceremonies of the Diaspora. Also similar was the preference of the agricultural settlement to the city and the lengthy descriptions of the landscape and of the nature.

In terms of their location, the stories were almost always set in a kibbutz or moshav. Even when the protagonist lived in the city, the story was to take place in an agricultural settlement. The message of the titles was more often than not of an ideological nature (Smoly's Ha-Na'ar Amiẓ ha-Lev ("The Brave-Hearted Boy"), Halperin's Yaldei ha-Sadeh ("Children of the Field")). The child protagonist is prepared to take chances, even risking his own life, but his relations with the adult world are fairly harmonious, with adults and children often replacing each other.

Despite the harmonious relations, the presentation of the family began to change in the 1940s. The parents were not represented anymore as the center of the child's life, nor as a source of authority. The child was represented as primarily attached to the Land of Israel and to nature, not to his parents. In many texts the children left home at an early age to fulfill pioneering missions and join a group (which thus replaces their family). Another change concerned the decline of the universal socialist ideology whose place was taken by the national ideology.

The most decisive change in the narrative of the 1940s resulted, however, from the need to relate to the Holocaust as well as to the preparations for the proclamation of the State of Israel. Three narratives were consequently developed: the narrative of the ties to European Jewry in times of affliction (and afterwards the narrative of the Holocaust), the "military" narrative, and the narrative of the lessons that should be drawn from the Holocaust.

The negation of the Diaspora typical of children's literature of the 1930s was replaced by the story of European Jewry in distress. It was marked by concern for and identification with their plight. Other stories dealt with the immigration of refugee children, describing their difficult exodus when leaving the dreadful conditions of Europe. Here the narrative of survival immigration replaced the previous narrative of ideological immigration in a clear attempt to change the readers' attitude towards survival immigration. From the end of 1942 the story of children from Ereẓ Israel rallying to help Jewish children in the Diaspora evolved (for example, Yemimah Tshernowitch-Avidar and Mira Lobe's Shenei Re'im Yaẓu la-Derekh (1950)), as well as of stories told by a grandfather to his grandson in Ereẓ Israel, in which he nostalgically describes his childhood in the Diaspora. The stories depicted the sense of a shared fate, and even alluded to the helplessness of the Yishuv and its inability to provide real assistance to Diaspora Jews in distress. The literature for very young children generally kept silent about the events in Europe, though sometimes it incorporated two levels of reading: the text for the very young was accompanied by a tragic level addressing the adult reading the texts to children.

In fact, the children's literature of the 1940s was the first to provide a means for telling a story of the Holocaust that was not being told in any other discourse. From this standpoint children's literature told a unique Holocaust story, colored by a sense of remorse about the negation of the Diaspora, dominant in the literary and educational discourse prior to World War II.

Alongside the Holocaust narrative there evolved in the early years of World War II the "military" narrative which told the story of youths (sometimes children) in Ereẓ Israel fighting the enemy in defense of the homeland. At its peak, particularly during the years of the anti-British struggle, it described children as daring and irreplaceable fighters. At first the war was a central theme in literature for very young children and was absent in the literature for older children. Latter most of the "military" literature addressed older children. The archetypal story was that of a close-knit group of children described as a quasi-"military" unit, who, instead of using their skill as detectives to solve a mystery (as was often the case with young detectives of Western literature), fought against an enemy threatening to conquer their country. They also described the fighting ability of the young Hebrew collective as representing an unparalleled "military" force. Several stories began to point directly to the British as the enemy of the Zionist endeavor. The Arabs of Palestine were also marked as the national enemy, against whom war was inevitable. The portrayal of an enemy who was present "here and now" turned the "military" narrative into a recruitment story. For the first time in the history of Hebrew children's literature, a present-day conflict was depicted in which children would play a unique and central role.

Translated literature continued to be published. Owing to the strong link with the Soviet Union and Russian culture, most of the texts were translated from Russian or by the use of Russian literature as a mediating system. Some were appropriated by the Hebrew system almost as original. This was the case of Ha-Mefuzar mi-Kefar Azar 1943) translated by Lea Goldberg, or Kornei Chukovsky's Limpopo (1943) and Barmalai (1946) translated by Natan Alterman.

Writing original popular children's literature, such as detective stories, was still tabooed in the 1940s, unless they were immersed in an ideology, which praised the military abilities of the younger generation. Two typical examples are Yemimah Tshernowitch-Avidar's best seller Shemona be-Ikevot Eḥad (1945) which told the story of a group of eight kibbutz children who managed to capture a dangerous German spy during World War II and Naḥum Gutman's Ha-Ḥofesh ha-Gadol, o Ta'alumat ha-Argazim 1946), which told the story of two youths who endanger their lives while trying to save an important shipment needed by the Jewish Yishuv under Turkish rule.

Towards the end of the World War II there evolved the narrative of the "national lesson" which combined the Holocaust and the "military" narratives into a new narrative – that of revolt and revenge of Jewish Diaspora children. This new narrative had its roots in the Warsaw ghetto revolt (April 1943) which left a mark on the narrative of the Yishuv. This narrative, often accompanied by chilling descriptions of violence, coupled the Holocaust to the heroic fighting of the few against the many. Its stories described children from "there" avenging family members who had been murdered; it also emphasized the generational aspect of the revenge and the ethos of an underground war waged by youngsters. The story of integrating the child-survivor into the society of children in the Yishuv began to take shape. Its protagonist was an orphaned child-refugee who arrives in Ereẓ Israel. Physically and mentally broken, he is integrated into a group of children within a short period of time, and forgets his traumatic past. The "correct" mode of absorption illustrated by this narrative took on the character of a "cure." The child was often adopted by a family or a Hebrew collective and his adoption was accompanied by a systematic effort to erase the memory of the horrors of the Holocaust. The survivor's successful integration was depicted as a happy ending. The large number of texts that presented such modes of integration indicates that very many writers were party to an effort to assist in the absorption process. It was only in the 1970s that the memory of the survivors was called upon and no longer required to be suppressed.

During the 1950s the Holocaust narrative was weakening whereas the "military" combined with the "national lesson" became dominant, especially in popular children's literature which gradually and cautiously was gaining some legitimacy, but still drew much fire. When Yigal *Mossinsohn began publishing in 1949 Hasambah – the first series of original popular literature – he was vehemently attacked for corrupting the souls of the children of Israel, and this despite the ideological underpinning of the series. The Hasambah series, first published by the children's magazine Mishmar li-Yeladim, told the story of a group of children who participated in many adventures and was deeply rooted in the Zionist narrative and values.

Hence, from the mid-1950s, Hebrew children's literature was no longer exclusively the product of an ideological motivating force. More emphasis was then put on the aesthetic and psychological features of the texts for children. Aspects of life which were previously ignored were gradually introduced in the 1960s. Themes which had been taboo were now placed on the literary stage: divorce, death, sex, protagonists of social groups previously ignored (such as women or young girls), urban life, various ethnic groups. The change can be discerned not only in terms of theme but in the poetics of the texts as well, driven by the wish to introduce the child's point of view. In several texts the authoritative point of view of a narrator was replaced by the child's point of view or by the introduction of more than one point of view.

Since the 1950s, with an acceleration of the process in the 1960s, children's literature has undergone a process of autonomization and normalization. From a literature bearing the ideological burden of the Zionist project, regarding itself as one of its major agents, it became similar to Western children's literature. This was evident in both the professionalization of children's literature – a clear distinction was made between literature for adults and literature for children – and the specialization of several publishing houses in children's literature. Almost all large publishing houses were involved in publishing for children and most of them appointed editors specifically for children's literature. The economic basis of children's literature became much more solid, several books for children became bestsellers, and several writers for children made their living from writing (Devorah Omer, Galila Ron-Feder) even before this was the case with writers for adults (*Oz, *Grossman). The professional differentiation coordinated with gender differentiation – most of the professional writers for children were women. At the same time almost all known writers for adults (with the exception of Yehoshua *Kenaz) wrote at least one book for children, though only Grossman and *Shalev did it systematically.

The status of the writer for children was enhanced by the award in 1978 of the highly prestigious Israel Prize to three authors in recognition of their life's work in children's literature (Nahum Gutman, Anda Amir, and Levin Kipnis).

The standard of visual presentation of books for children progressed enormously and a new generation of illustrators for children became an integral part of the scene. Age differentiation became more and more distinct: books for infants, books for toddlers, books for preschoolers, books for the first grades, books for youth.

Since the 1970s, Hebrew children's literature has experienced a tremendous boom. Publishing policy, even of the publishing houses of the labor parties, was now placed on a commercial basis in its broadest sense. That is to say, books were chosen for publication either because they were believed to be valuable, or saleable, or both.

The system of children's literature has managed to become a complete system consisting both of popular and high literature. The number of published books and the number of copies sold has increased considerably. No fewer than 480 children's books were published in 1976, of which 194 were new titles and 286 were reprints. The number of books published more than doubled between 1965/6 and 1979/80, and almost tripled in the 20 years between 1965/6 and 1986.

Childrens Literature

Year No. of children's books No. of total %
1965–66 145 2,230 6.5%
1970–71 173 3,353 5.1%
1975–76 480 3,522 13.5%
1979–80 366 4,892 7.4%
1980–81 219 4,387 4.9%
1986–87 304 5,300 5.7%
1992 244 4,608 5.2%
1996 210 4,909 4.2%

The Central Bureau of Statistics does not have data for books published after 1996. However, according to the data of the Jewish National and University Library (which is not necessarily in accordance with the data of the Central Bureau of Statistics), they received 463 children books in 1996 (7.7%), 518 in 1997 (7.8%), 450 in 1998 (7.2%), and 474 in 1999 (8%). Since then the percentage of children's books has declined: 370 in 2001 (5.3%), 317 in 2002 (4.5%), 346 in 2003 (4.1%), and 426 in 2004 (5.5%).

The ulta-Orthodox world did not remain indifferent to the boom in Hebrew children's literature. Probably in an effort to compete with it, ulltra-Orthodox writers, especially women writers, began writing in mass for children; among them most prominent is Yokheved Sachs. To a lesser extent was the effort to write books for the children of the settlers in the occupied territories (for instance Emunah Elon), probably in an attempt to promote a different value system from the one prevalent in Hebrew children's literature since the 1970s.

Poetry for children was allotted considerable space and new writers began writing poetry for children, introducing new models which emphasized the child's point of view and its individual character (Adulah, Datyah Ben-Dor, Hagit Benziman, Shlomit Cohen-Assif, Edna Kremer, Haya Shenhav and Miric Senir). Yehudah Atlas's Ve-ha-Yeled ha-Zeh hu Ani (1977) served as a model for the presentation of the child as a specific unique individual rather than a stereotyped "ẓabar." In addition, the writing of lyric poetry for children developed (Tirzah Atar and Nurit Zarchi), satirical poetry (Efrayim Sidon), philosophical poetry (Mikhal Senunit), or ironical poetry (Meir Shalev). Writing of prose for the very young also increased: some of it was based on a realistic model (Nira Harel, Miriam Roth), others on a didactic model (Alona Frankel), fantasy (Haya Shenhav), or prose challenging the family role model (Meir Shalev and Etgar Keret).

The range of topics covered by children's literature expanded greatly both as a result of the "normalization" of the system and because of its nexus with European and American children's literatures, which were undergoing a similar process. Instead of the earlier, almost exclusive focus on realistic fiction about the history of the Jewish people and the history and the life of the people of Israel the door was opened to themes from the private sphere which had previously been shunned, such as first love, friendship, parent-child relations, children's adventures, death in war, death of family members, divorce, and family crisis in general. Even when describing the group or the community the books concentrated on the child's point of view, his fears and his wishes. For instance, Raya Harnik's, Aḥi Aḥi (1993), Uri Orlev's Ḥayat ha-Ḥoshekh (1967) and Ya'akov Shavit's Nimrod Kelev Ẓayid (1987) deal with a child's response to the death of a father or brother. Other writers depict conflicts between the individual and society, notably Nurit Zarchi's Yaldat Ḥuẓ (1978), Ofrah Gelbart-Avni's Kirotshe-lo Ro'im (1992), Roni Givati's Mishalot Ḥoref (1993), Yisrael Lerman's Ha-Yeled mi-Gedat ha-Naḥal (1992), and Yona Tepper's David Ḥeẓi Ḥeẓi (1990).

Some of the prose writing for older children continued to be realistic fiction about the history and life of the Yishuv in the pre-State period, and the history of the Jewish people. Merkaz Shazar and Yad Ben-Zvi, usually not involved in publishing for children, initiated the publication of historical novels, presumably due to the success of several historical novels as major agents in the construction of past images, notably Devorah Omer's Ha-Bekhor le-Vet Avi (1967) and Sarah, Gibborat Nili (1969). Among the prominent authors to publish such works were Dorit Orgad (Ha-Ḥatufim li-Ẓeva ha-Ẓar, 1986), Devorah Omer (Pitom be-Emẓa ha-Ḥayyim, 1984, and Ahavat Itamar, 2001), and Esther Streit-Wurzel (Ha-Beriḥah, 1969). These novels did not introduce the critical historical narrative which became popular in both historiographical and prose writing for adults. Except for Daniella Carmi, there was no attempt to shed light on the "other," nor to write critically about the Zionist project. On the other hand, unlike previous historical novels written during the pre-State period (like Smoly's), writers did not hesitate to explore the shortcomings of their protagonists and did not endeavor to imbue the child with national values of heroism.

The model of the Zionist adventure narrative of popular literature was replaced by an adventure model based on the child's world. Especially popular were books by Semadar Shir and the series Jinji by Galila Ron-Feder. Like any other popular literature the stories are based on a certain repetitive pattern. They are highly respected in terms of their characters, their role division, the world described, and the development of the plot.

The narrative of the Holocaust changed and was not limited to the survivor generation but to the second generation as well. The books relate the dreadful events of the Holocaust combined with stories of survival. The narrative is of a documentary nature or between realism and fantasy, for instance, Uri Orlev's, Ha-I bi-Reḥov ha-Ẓipporim (The Island on Bird Street, 1981), winner of the Andersen Prize; Tamar Bergman's Ha-Yeled mi-Sham (1983); Ami Gedalia's Ha-Ed ha-Aharon (1989); Ruth Ilan-Porath's Kurt Aḥi (1983); Rivka Keren's Kayiẓ Aẓuv, Kayiẓ Me'ushar (1986); Irena Liebman's Sus Eẓ u-Shemo Zariz( 1988); and Ruth Almog's Ha-Massa Sheli im Aleks (1999).

The fields of picture books and books for the very young have changed significantly in terms of the design and graphics of books. A new generation of artists followed Nahum Gutman and Aryeh Navon, who illustrated several books for children. Most prominent among them were Orah Eyal, Ora Eitan, Alona Frankel, Hilah Havkin, Avner Katz, Danny Kerman, Ruth Modan, and Ruth Tsarefati.

Translations and re-translations of children's classics (most of them dating back to the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries) continued to predominate. The most important of these appeared in the framework of the Kitri series by the Keter publishing house, which published new translations of, among others, Joanna Spyri's Heidi, George Sand's La Petite Fadette, Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin, Edmondo de Amicis's Cuore, Waldemar Bonsels's Die Biene Maja und Ihre Abenteuer, Jules Verne's Michel Strogoff, Henryk Sienkiewicz's Wpustyni i w puszczy ("In Desert and Wilderness"), Mark Twain's The Prince and The Pauper, Victor Hugo's Les Miserables, R.L. Stevenson's Treasure Island, Charles Kingsley's The Water-Babies, Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book, Alexander Dumas's La Tulipe Noir, Alphonse Daudet's Tartarin Sur Les Alpes, and L.M. Montgomery's The Foundling. The Marganit series by the Zemora publishing house specialized in translations of American and European classics of the 20th century, such as several of Roald Dahl's books (Matilda and Danny the Champion of the World), Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House on the Prairie, Anna Sewell's Black Beauty, Joel Chandler Harris' Uncle Remus, Eleanor H. Porter's Pollyanna, Edith Nesbit's The Railway Children, Ferenc Molnar's A Palutcai Fiuk, Robert Lawson's Rabbit Hill, and Louise Fitzhugh's Harriet the Spy.

In addition, popular and successful children's literature, published mainly in the United States and England, began to be regularly translated into Hebrew, often within months following publication of the original. In addition to the Harry Potter series, works of well known writers such as Eric Hill (the English Spot series) or the Olivia books by the American Ian Falconer have also been translated almost immediately after they appeared.

Hebrew children's literature has undergone tremendous changes over the last 200 years. Starting as a literature with virtually no natural reading public, it has acquired a large and stable reading public. Although it was believed to serve as a tool for other purposes, it managed to liberate itself from ideological and didactic constraints, and to emerge as a full and "normal" system, having a "normal" reading public and functioning on the same basis as any other national literature in the West.

[Zohar Shavit (2nd ed.)]

IN THE UNITED STATES

Besides Israel and Europe, the United States is the other large Jewish center, where a substantial children's Hebrew literature developed. A function of the different aspects of the U.S. Jewish educational system at various times, it also depended on writers of children's Hebrew literature who had emigrated from Europe. The first U.S. readers were copies or imitations of children's books that had been put out in Europe; for example, Reshit Limmudim le-Yaldei Benei Avraham, by A.R. Levy (1895). By the turn of the century a considerable number of Hebrew readers, adapted to the U.S. Hebrew educational environment, were published. They were written in an easy style and had a limited vocabulary. Most prominent in this field was the educator Z. Scharfstein, founder of the New York educational publishing house Shilo, which printed dozens of Hebrew textbooks and readers.

Children's literature in the United States developed sporadically because it mainly depended on emigrant European authors (the most noted works of that period are Abraham Luria's Ahavah NisgavahḤizzayon li-Venei ha-Ne'urim (1892), and Ezekiel Levitt's Ha-Nerot Hallelu (1903). After 1916, however, it grew into a serious literary activity. The regular flow of publications has primarily been due to the activities of such public institutions as bureaus of Jewish education and the *Histadrut Ivrit. Public bodies, such as the Association of Hebrew Teachers, various bureaus for Jewish education, and the Jewish Education Committee, also published booklets for children in a very easy style. Among these were the following series: Ma'asiyyot le-Tinokot (15 numbers); Orot and Mikra Oneg (1930?, about 20 numbers), edited by Z. Scharfstein; Sifriyyah le-Var-bei-Rav and Sippurim li-Yladim (1954), by Akiva Ben-Ezra; Ha-Ivri ha-Katan (1938–45) published in Chicago and Sippurim Yafim (1932–38), by H.A. *Friedland (Cleveland, 100 numbers). The Lador Publishing House, established by the Jewish Board of Education in New York printed children's books, including adapted modern and classical works, biographies, and essays on religion and on society. Hebrew children's literature in the United States is only produced occasionally.

[Uriel Ofek]

CHILDREN'S LITERATURE IN YIDDISH

Yiddish literature for children had its beginnings in the folklore that sprang up among the people and for the most part was not especially oriented toward the young. Up to the end of the 19th century, children's literature was in general orally transmitted in the home: folksongs, lullabies, stories based on the Bible and Talmud, and stories translated into Yiddish. Relatively few Yiddish children's books existed; among them were Spanishe Haydn oder Tsigayners ("Spanish Heathens or Gypsies"), an 18th-century translation; and two late 19th-century texts: Reb Khayml der Kotsin ("Reb Chaim, the Judge," a play by Joel Berish, 1867) and Yontevdige Ertseylungen ("Holidays Tales," a collection of stories by Mordecai Spektor, 1889). *Sholem Aleichem's story "Dos Meserl" ("The Penknife," 1887) may be regarded as the first Yiddish story for children, although it was not initially a children's story. Yiddish children's literature began to appear in the first half of the 20th century. It enjoyed its most fertile period during the interwar years. The origins of Yiddish children's literature are to be sought in the development of Yiddish-language educational institutions, both secular and religious, for which textbooks were published, both original compositions and translations. One of the early manifestations was in Yiddish periodicals for children, usually edited by teachers. The first was Farn Kleynem Oylem ("For the Young Audience"), edited by Joseph Heftman, which appeared as a supplement in Di Yidishe Vokh ("The Yiddish Week," 1912–13).

Following the Holocaust, Yiddish children's literature continued to be published only in the Americas. In Argentina, for example, the periodical Argentiner Beymelekh ("Argentine Saplings") began publication in the late 1930s, and in the United States, the periodical Kinder Zhurnal ("Children's Magazine"), appeared through the late 1970s.

In Europe

In the early 20th century numerous institutions began to publish children's literature, among them: the Kletzkin Farlag in Vilna (from 1908) and the Kultur Lige (founded in 1917 in Kiev), both of which later moved to Warsaw. The system of Yiddish-language schools in Poland, Tsisho (CYSHO; Tsentrale Yidishe Shul Organizatsye, "Central Yiddish School Organization"), founded the press Shul un Lebn ("School and Life"). By the 1920s there were several publishers of Yiddish books in Warsaw. Shloyme Bastomski founded a press in Vilna, Naye Yidishe Folkshul ("New Yiddish People's School"), and Moyshe Taykhman directed the press Kinderfraynd ("Children's Friend") in Warsaw. The Orthodox Agudat Israel founded the press Beys-Yankev in Lodz. All of these presses published Yiddish books (originals, adaptations, and translations) and periodicals for children.

In Vilna the periodicals Der Khaver ("The Friend," 1920–22 and 1929–39) and Grininke Beymelekh ("Green Saplings," 1914–15, 1919–22, 1926–39) appeared, most of the issues under the editorship of Bastomski. In Warsaw the periodical Kinderfraynd (1936–39) was edited by Moyshe Taykhman. Agudat Israel published the children's periodicals Kinder Gortn ("Kindergarten," from 1924) and Frishinke Blimelekh ("Fresh Blossoms").

The fathers of modern Yiddish literature also wrote and adapted childrens' literature – works by Sholem Yankev *Abramovitsh (Mendele Moykher Sforim) and Sholem Aleichem (e.g., his Mayses far Yidishe Kinder ("Stories for Jewish Children"; 1918)), and Motl Peysi dem Khazens ("Motl Peysi, the Cantor's Son"; 1913). I.L. *Peretz also wrote many books and poems for children, as well as adapting folktales. Modern Yiddish children's literature included original texts, adaptations, and translations. Literary works of various genres and for a range of ages were published. It began from song games and counting songs for small children, continued with stories about animals, friends, and school, and extended to folktales and travelogues for adolescents. Many writers emigrated from their original homes to other countries in the course of their lives.

The following is a partial listing of the most important authors: Soviet Union – Rokhel Boymvol, Benjamin Gutianksi, Yehezkel *Dobrushin, Daniel *Charney, Der *Nister, Leib *Kvitko, Itzik *Kipnis, Helene Khatzkeles (translator); Poland (including Vilna) – Shloyme Bastomski, Moyshe *Broderzon, Blume Hamburg, Falk Heilperin, Gabriel Weissman, Malke Chaimson, Joseph Tunkel (Der *Tunkeler, who also translated works of Wilhelm Busch), Kalman Liss, Kadie *Molodowsky, Leib Malakh, Sore Reisen; Romania – Eliezer Steinbarg, famous as a writer of parables, also wrote many works for children; Germany – Joseph-Hillel Levy, Eliezer Schindler.

In the United States

At the beginning of the 20th century there were a number of individual presses active, but most publishers of children's books were school systems. Children's periodicals were also published by such organizations as Kinderland ("Child-Land") and Kindertsaytung ("Children's Newspaper") by the Workmen's Circle; Kindervelt ("Children's World") by the Natsionaler Arbeter Farband; Yungvarg ("Young Folks") by the Internatsionaler Arbeter Ordn; Kinder-Zhurnal ("Children's Journal") by Matones, the press of the Sholem Aleichem Folks-Institut.

In the United States anthologies published for children included adaptations and abridgements of classics, as well as new original works. Most Yiddish children's authors in the Americas were immigrants born in Eastern Europe, some of whom began to write while they were still living in Europe and continued to do so after immigrating. Among them were Ephraim *Auerbach, David *Ignatoff, Benjamin-Jacob *Bialostotzky, Rivke Galin, Hermann Gold, Jacob *Glatstein, Naphtali *Gross, Leah K. Hofmann, Peretz *Hirschbein, Zishe *Weinper, Nahum Weissman, *Yehoash, Nahum *Yud, Chaver-Paver, Nahum Khanin, Aleph *Katz, A. Leib (Abraham-Mordecai), Mani *Leib, Ida Maaze, Kadie *Molodowsky, Yudl *Mark, Moyshe *Nadir, Shloyme Simon, Leon Elbe, Ida Kozlowsky-Glazer, Yosl Kotler, David Rodin (Eliyahu Levin), Isaac-Elkhanan Rontsh, Isaac-Hersh Radoshitsky, Abraham *Reisen, Shloyme Shneider; Argentina – Moyshe David Giesser, Shne'er (Shneur) Wasserman, Zalman Wassertzug, Litman (Simkha Freylekh), Zelik Mazur, Abraham Moshkowitz, Samuel Tzesler, Avigdor Spitzer.

[Adina Bar-El (2nd ed.)]

CHILDREN'S LITERATURE IN LADINO

In contrast to Hebrew and Yiddish, Ladino, the language spoken by Sephardi Jews in Mediterranean countries, especially Turkey, the Balkans, and Ereẓ Israel, was not taught in schools. As a result, comparatively few literary works for children are written in Ladino. On the other hand, there exists a rich folk literature in this language, which formed part of the cultural upbringing of the youth.

The first readers for children in Ladino were translations or "imitations" from the Hebrew, including excerpts from Menorat ha-Ma'or, King Solomon's Proverbs, Josippon, and other works. The many coplas (folk sagas and ballads) found in Ladino literature greatly enriched the lives of children, e.g., Akedat Yiẓḥak, Yosef ha-Ẓaddik, Nes Ḥanukkah, and others, as well as poems composed for recital on Purim, at carnival time, and on other holidays. In the 18th century, some of these works began to be published, such as Abraham de Toledo's Coplas de Yoçef ha-Ẓaddik (Constantinople, 1732). An important collection of Ladino parables was published by Kayserling (Budapest, 1809).

When the demand for education made itself felt in the Sephardi communities, many textbooks for children came to be published, especially in Constantinople, Smyrna, Salonika, Belgrade, and Vienna. One of the readers written for children was Sefer Ḥanokh la-No'ar by Abraham Pontremoli (1872), including moral tales and parables.

In the 20th Century

At the turn of the 20th century, Ladino fiction for children made its appearance. Initially it consisted mostly of translations of classical works and Hebrew stories by Ben Avigdor, Yehudah Burla, and others. In Salonika, Jerusalem, and Constantinople there also appeared many adventure stories – originals and imitations – which were usually serialized. Among the writers of adventure tales were Alexander b. Ghiat; Elia Carmona (Rav-ha-Ḥovel he-Amiẓ, Ḥalomo shel Jack ha-Katan, 1910–12); Ize de Pirlilo ("Bat-Soḥer ha-Peninim," 1901); David Fresco (He-Ḥayyat ha-Ivver, 1926, and many other works); J.S. Behar (Silamar, 1926); and Benzion *Taragan, whose books appeared both in Salonika and in Jerusalem. Many of these works were read by adults as well as by children. Some modest literary activities in Ladino also took place in North Africa.

When the State of Israel was established, most of the Jewish communities in the Middle East emigrated either to Israel or elsewhere. With the demise of these Jewish centers in the Diaspora, the younger generation abandoned its "Diaspora" language, and for all practical purposes children's literature in Ladino came to an end.

[Uriel Ofek]

HOLOCAUST LITERATURE

Children's literature of the Holocaust emanates from two major sources: adults writing reflectively about themes derived from Holocaust occurrences and children writing, revising, or reflecting upon their personal adolescent experiences.

The first category includes such writers as Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel) and Eve Bunting. The former author's thinly disguised antisemitism theme in The Sneetches, and his Yertle the Turtle, a stand-in for Hitler, harken back to Seuss's March 20, 1942, turtle victory cartoon in the radical newspaper PM newspaper (Minear, 1999). Bunting's Terrible Things is a picture book allegory closely paralleling Martin Niemoller's poem, "First They Came for the Jews." Such literature, taught inductively, has great appeal for children 7–11. For slightly older readers is Hana Volavkova's beautifully edited I Never Saw another Butterfly…, children's drawings and poems from TE rezin, 1942–1944, including Pavel Friedmann's poem, "The Butterfly." A much different book is Yuri Suhl's Uncle Misha's Partisans, about Jewish resistance fighters living in the forests near Klynov, a Ukranian village, where the 12-year-old orphaned Motele infiltrates Nazi operations.

This latter book, a novel, raises questions about using fictional works to depict Holocaust events. Key is veracity to psychological and historical truths. Definitely worthwhile are Lois Lowry's Number the Stars, about a 10-year-old Jewish girl assisted by a Danish peer to flee the Nazis by escaping to Sweden; Uri Orlev's The Island on Bird Street, about 11-year-old Alex's survival experiences in the Warsaw ghetto; Jane Yolen's The Devil's Arithmetic, wherein modern teen-age Hannah turns into Jewish Chaya living in a 1942 Polish village. Similarly, Cherie Bennett and Jeff Gottsfeld's Anne Frank and Me transforms the super modern teenager, Nicole, into a Jewish girl living in German-occupied Paris in 1942. The latter books both use a time warp effect to unsettle their protagonists and, hopefully, adolescent readers.

Good teachers choose literary selections allowing for maximum exploration of human values. Holocaust educator Karen Shawn recommends that works selected reflect historical reality, foster involvement and identification with the victims and survivors, engage and enlighten the students, present the truth without traumatizing the reader, and offer flexibility of classroom use. Shawn, invoking Louise Rosenblatt's reader response theory, stresses the value of teachers fostering a "transaction" between the reader and the text.

Adolescents definitely make transactions when reading The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. Whether the diary is read and studied to learn about World War II Amsterdam, teen angst, relationships, life in hiding, or growth toward maturity and responsibility, the book's 25,000,000+ copies sold worldwide elevate the book to its peerless status. "Anne had problems like mine!" is the universal cry of readers facing puberty. Recent critics are adjudging versions of Anne's diary, e.g., media depictions, or her father Otto's diary passages selections rather than Anne's own words. The diary remains, for many, the window to learning more about the Holocaust. Simon Wiesenthal gave his daughter the diary to read when she came of age.

Anne's writing, of course, is part of the world of children who have written, revised, or reflected upon their personal adolescent experiences. For older readers, the ones over 15, there is Night. Elie Wiesel's experiences as a 12- to 16-year-old Hungarian Jew caught up, with his immediate family, in the maelstrom of the Sighet ghetto, the Auschwitz-Birkenau factory of death, and Buchenwald, represent for many teens the epitome of Holocaust death, degradation, and destruction. Selling but a few thousand copies annually after its 1960 English publication, Night now sells approximately 400,000 copies a year notes literary agent Georges Borchardt.

Night, in fact, was one of five books most often taught by the then 100 Mandel (now Museum) Fellows trained at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, according to a survey conducted by this writer in 2000. The others were Gerda Weissman Klein's All But My Life, Ruth Minsky Sender's The Cage, Nechama Tec's Dry Tears, and Primo Levi's Survival in Auschwitz. These books relate the experiences of relatively young victims (Levi, age 24, the exception) transported from Poland, Hungary/Romania, or Italy to various ghetto, concentration camp, or death camp sites. Several spent years in captivity, the persecution/destruction of such youths being the core of Nazi genocide.

A book set, widely sold, read, and studied, unusual in both form and approach, is Maus I and Maus II, which tell the story of Vladek Spiegelman, an Eastern Poland Jew transported to Auschwitz, as seen through cartoonist Art Spiegelman's second generation eyes. The graphic comic book Pulitzer Prize-winning set depicts Art's father as a victim mouse in a world of Nazi cats. Volume two broaches how children somehow survive having a Holocaust survivor parent.

A book, in many ways an adult book, often used with students in their later teens, is Simon Wiesenthal's The Sunflower. The 1998 version repeated the opening tale of the Jew Wiesenthal being confronted near the Lemberg (LWOW), Austria, camp by a dying Nazi asking forgiveness for his part in an atrocious mass murdering of Jews. Wiesenthal, aghast at the request, poses the question for possible responses by leading authorities of our time – and by the readers. As youths explore the responses of the 53 experts, they discover a wide range of views, from absolute forgiveness (The Dalai Lama) to none (Cynthia Ozick). The challenge is in mediating morality.

Cursory examination of foregoing literature reveals picture books, poetry, novels, diaries, graphic comic book, biographies, autobiographies, and memoirs. Owing to the varied forms, however, children's literature of the Holocaust remains cross genre literature; not a separate one.

One valuable addition to the diary genre is Alexandra Zapruder's Salvaged Pages. Researching diaries largely from Eastern Europe, many previously unpublished or excerpted only briefly elsewhere, Zapruder reveals a wide range of adolescent responses to the varying situations of Nazi entrapment. Ranging in age from 12 to 22, nearly two dozen diarists chronicle their world shrinking from city to ghetto, to reformulated Jewish life, sometimes to concealment, to trains – to refugee status – or death. The writers, only six of whom survive, share their fears, wishes, dislikes, and dreams. Mostly, however, these boys and girls explore their struggles to be moral in an immoral society. If Anne Frank's diary record reflects innocence, Salvaged Pages reveals innocence stripped away. Zapruder's diarists reflect considerable diversity of nationality, economic and social class, religious orientation, and wartime experiences. Sheer survival is the chief concern. The ghetto diaries (e.g., Terezin, Lodz, Kovno, Vilna) are the richest; yet hardest to distill. Why did young people even confide in diaries during such terrible times?

All 22 diarists were Jews. Zapruder's book's second appendix, however, provides rewritten and reconstructed diaries, letters, diary-memoirs, and texts by young non-Jewish Nazi genocide victims. Most helpful are the Editor's Note and Introduction, explaining how historians help readers distinguish among diaries as immediate records, revised records, and reflective (sometimes post-war) records.

The varied pieces of Holocaust literature written by adults and children can instruct and edify youths of all ages. "Age-appropriate," in fact, is the term found in many states' documents which mandate or promote (approximately half) Holocaust study. Works mentioned – and many others – can be used to reach educational objectives and standards. Adolescent readers entering the historical world of their peers become witnesses to the cataclysmic 1933–1945 events. Such witnessing can help perfect the world – Tikkun Olam.

See also "Children's Literature in Hebrew" above.

[William Younglove (2nd ed.)]

CHILDREN'S LITERATURE IN ENGLISH AND OTHER LANGUAGES

Most of the children's literature on Jewish themes written in languages other than Hebrew, Yiddish, and Ladino appeared in English (either in Britain or the U.S.), although there were other significant contributions in Central and Eastern Europe. In some countries Jews were prominent children's writers, producing books of general, rather than specifically Jewish, interest; a notable example was Felix *Salten, author of the German animal story Bambi (1923). However, those who dedicated their work to the Jewish youngster sought not merely to retell the Bible stories, but rather to increase knowledge of and pride in the Jewish heritage.

English

GREAT BRITAIN

Three pioneers of Jewish children's literature in English were the sisters Celia (Moss) Levetus (1819–1873) and Marion (Moss) Hartog (1821–1907), who wrote Tales of Jewish History (1840), and Grace *Aguilar, author of Women of Israel (1845) and various works of fiction, notably The Vale of Cedars (1850), a romantic tale of heroism set among the Spanish Marranos. Later, some of Israel *Zangwill's novels, such as The Children of the Ghetto (1892) and The King of Schnorrers (1894), were popular children's books. In time, too, English translations of many Hebrew and Yiddish classics by writers like H.N. Bialik and Shalom Aleichem became juvenile bestsellers. Under the pen name "Aunt Naomi," Gertrude Landa, wife of the journalist and author M.J. Landa, published a volume of Jewish Fairy Tales and Fables (1908), while another collection of Jewish Fairy Stories (1947?) was edited by Gerald Friedlander. These books were part of the Shapiro Vallentine publishing company's "Library for Jewish Children." The series also included Claud Field's Jewish Legends of the Middle Ages and Samuel Gordon's The Lost Kingdom… (1926), a romance about the Khazars. Apples and Honey (1921), a "gift book for Jewish children," was published by Nina (Davis) *Salaman, a noted writer and translator. Other books of the period included Kate Lady *Magnus' highly successful Outlines of Jewish History (1886; revised 1958); J.M. Myers' Story of the Jewish People (3 vols., 1924–25); and The Golden Thread (19632) by S. Davis and M. Kaye. In 1931, Izak *Goller began publishing a series of plays on biblical themes (e.g., A Purim Night's Dream), which long retained their appeal to Jewish youngsters.

The establishment in 1922 of the Jewish Memorial Council and of the Jewish National Fund's education department in 1935 accelerated the production of Jewish literature for the young. The JNF issued hundreds of Jewish publications, including the annual Moledet, and Nitzanim (1950– ), short stories mainly about Ereẓ Israel. In 1935, Joseph Halpern published his History of Our People in Bible Times, sequels appearing in 1939 and 1965; and Hyman *Klein produced various annotated religious texts for the young. Later, the publishing houses of Vallentine Mitchell and Soncino Press produced many children's works on Judaism and Jewish history; the authors of these included I. Fishman, S.M. Lehrman (d. 1988), and Isidore *Epstein. Among the best-known writers of Jewish children's books in Britain were Arthur Saul Super, who coedited an illustrated Children's Haggadah (1933); Beth-Zion Abrahams (The Jews in England, 1950); Josephine Kamm (Great Jews, 1948–49; Leaders of the People, 1959); S. Alter Halpern (Tales of Faith, 1968); and Pamela Melnikoff (The Star and the Sword, 1968). Many works on Israel for Jewish youngsters also appeared. Books for Jewish children were published in the Commonwealth and included stories on Jewish and Israel themes by the South African writer Betty Misheiker (1919– ).

An unusual and popular publication was Chronicles, News of the Past (1958), biblical newspapers in English and Hebrew editions, appearing in Israel.

[Joseph Halpern /

Godfrey Edmond Silverman]

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Probably the earliest significant works for Jewish children to appear in the United States were those by the English writer Grace Aguilar, some figuring among the first books issued by the Jewish Publication Society of America. The poems of Emma *Lazarus also proved attractive to young American Jews. A pioneer of Jewish literature for the young was Abram Samuel Isaacs (1852–1920), who wrote Stories from the Rabbis (1894), books on Moses Mendelssohn (1910) and Grace Aguilar (The Young Champion, 1913), and Under the Sabbath Lamp (1919). Many Hebrew classics appealing to young people have also appeared in English, translated by Shulamit Nardi, I.M. Lask, Martha Marenof, and others. During the first decades of the 20th century Hannah Trager published stories about youngsters in Ereẓ Israel (2 vols., 1920); and Samuel S. Grossman (1893–1930) produced plays on biblical and other Jewish themes. A prominent children's writer of the era between the world wars was Jessie *Sampter, whose works in this field include Around the Year in Rhymes for the Jewish Child (1920) and Far Over the Sea (1939), translations of poems by Bialik. The Tree of Life; Sketches from Jewish Life of Yesterday and Today (1933), a volume of prose, verse, and drawings, was produced by Enrico (Henryk) *Glicenstein and Alexander M. *Dushkin. Other leading writers for Jewish children included Sadie Rose Weilerstein (1895–1993), author of What Danny Did (1928), The Adventures of K'tonton (1935), and What the Moon Brought (1942); Elma Ehrlich Levinger (1887–1958), who wrote Jewish Holyday Stories (1918) and In Many Lands (1929); and Sulamith Ish-Kishor, author of The Bible Story (2 vols., 1921–23) and various collections of verse and prose.

With the advent of Nazism in Europe, children's books on Jewish themes rapidly multiplied. The process gained added momentum after the creation of the State of Israel, when the literature issued by religious and educational bodies and the various Zionist youth movements was reinforced by eminent American writers. Thus, Howard *Fast produced a Picture-Book History of the Jews (1942) and popular biblical fiction; Meyer *Levin wrote works on Judaism and Israel for juveniles (The Story of the Jewish Way of Life, 1959); and Manuel Komroff (1890–1974) published a Bible Dictionary for Boys and Girls (1957) and Heroes of the Bible (1966). Other children's writers were Lilly M. Klaperman, Dorothy Freda Zeligs, Freda Clark Hyman, and Abraham *Burstein. Edith L. Calisch (1898–?) emulated Britain's Gertrude Landa with her Fairy Tales from Grandfather's Big Book (1938). A very high proportion of Jewish children's books have been sponsored by the various synagogue bodies in the United States and by national and local Jewish educational organizations. Children's books on the festivals and general religious knowledge written from the Reform standpoint were produced by Sophia M. Cederbaum, Lillian B. Freehof (1906– ), and M.G. Gamoran (d. 1984); and from that of Conservatism or Orthodoxy by Lillian S. Abramson, Azriel Louis Eisenberg (1903–1985), Robert Garvey, the prolific Norma Simon, Morris Epstein (1922–1973), Sol Scharfstein (1921– ), Hyman Goldin, Robert Sol, and Nissan Mindel (of the Ḥabad "Merkos l'Inyonei Chinuch"). Bible stories were published by Behn Boruch and Gay Campbell (Ruth Samuels, 1912– ), and children's operettas and books on Jewish music by Harry Coopersmith (Joseph and his Brothers, 1953). Anthologies of interest to Jewish children and youth were The World Over Story Book (1952), edited by Norton Belth, Feast of Leviathan (1956), tales from Jewish literature by Leo W. *Schwarz and various "treasuries" by Nathan *Ausubel. Leading reference works included The Junior Jewish Encyclopedia (1957, 19632), edited by Naomi Ben-Asher and Chaim *Leaf, and A. Burstein's New Concise Jewish Encyclopedia (1962).

[Godfrey Edmond Silverman]

LATER TRENDS

Not until the 19th century, when educational philosophy and the growing popularity of child psychology proclaimed the child a distinct personality with special needs, was any attempt made to create a body of literature which took into account the needs and development of children. The Jewish community in America did not attempt to supply children with suitable religious material until the 1920s, when first the Reform (UAHC) and later the Conservative (United Synagogue) movements established commissions of education which encouraged the writing of books dealing with legends, stories, teaching Jewish values, biographies, and books about Jewish holidays in addition to textbooks. Soon commercial Jewish publishing houses began to publish children's books, but these seldom included original works.

Denominational publishing still exists. The UAHC (Reform), Torah U'Mesorah (Orthodox), and the Merkos l'Inyonei Chinuch (Lubavich) publish a respectable list of books for children each year. United Synagogue no longer publishes children's books except for pedagogical material and Sidduri, a recorded book for handicapped youngsters. Commercial Jewish publishing has not declined but has changed. Some of the old-time firms no longer publish children's (or any) books, but new Jewish publishers have taken their place. Some of these are small, independent presses like Kar-Ben Copies, Dov-Dov, and Aura. SBS is a new commercial Jewish publisher who works with the Olivestone Press. Many of the Orthodox presses specialize in children's books which depict a strict Torah life-style and use Hebrew or Yiddish freely within the text. Although the books are primarily written for children from all denominations because of their simple text and brightly colored cartoon pictures. However, stilted writing, poor characterization and didactic moralizing eliminates most of these from the realm of literature. There is even an Orthodox comic book – "Mendy the Golem," which features "Oy Vader."

Mesorah/Artscroll publishes with Torah U'Mesorah and has brought out several attractively illustrated anthologies of traditional modern stories. Judaica Press has established the Jewish mystery story as a vehicle for teaching Jewish values. Authors are Miriam Stark Zakon, Gershon Winkler, and Carol Korb Hubner. Feldheim has established a "Young People's Series" reviving many classics and commissioning original works like the Savta Simcha books by Yaffa Ganz. Children's literature from Orthodox Jewish presses remain a good source of stories based on Aggadah and tales of faith and piety.

Of the independent presses Kar-Ben Copies has consistently issued attractive low-cost books for the young child. The need for books for the very young is quite new and is also addressed by UAHC.

The Jewish Publication Society of America, long a producer of quality Jewish literature, inaugurated a new series of books for children in 1976 when it published Haym Salomon, Son of Liberty by Shirley Milgrim in honor of the Bicentennial. Since 1979 the JPS has brought out approximately 2–3 children's books each year of good literary quality and format.

Many of today's children's books are issued in paperback. Besides being less costly than hardcover books it has been found that children are more likely to pick up a paperback to read than a hardcover book.

Although the Jewish publishers are still deeply involved in publishing children's books, they are outnumbered by the large trade publishers. The Holocaust and the establishment of the modern State of Israel brought many professional writers, some of them non-Jews, to children's literature with Jewish themes. These writers primarily wrote fiction, and some of them wrote well. The trouble in many cases was that they were not educated Jewishly and so – with the best of intentions – often distorted the Jewish aspect of the story. There were, however, also many exceptions where the talents of the professional writer were combined with Jewish knowledge.

The 1960s and 1970s saw an upsurge in ethnic and minority interest. Many authors, some of them Jews, were moved to explore their own background. The Jewish content of the books began to improve along with the writing style. This is apparent in the handling of sensitive subjects like, such as antisemitism, intermarriage, and the Holocaust. Earlier novelists portrayed interdating and intermarriage as an answer to antisemitism and a step towards universal brotherhood, but books of the 1970 and 1980s recognized the insidiousness of intermarriage and celebrated the specialness of being totally Jewish.

As for the Holocaust early novels show Jews as helpless, depending upon the largesse of their Christian friends for rescue; later novels tell stories of resistance, both physical and spiritual, and of courage. Recently many personal narratives and biographically based novels have been written by survivors and their children, who are also writing about what it means to be a child of survivors.

Books about Israel have decreased since the 1960s. Five were written in the 1970s, but in the 1980s there has been no children's fiction about Israel. There has been one good non-fiction reference book, The Junior Encyclopedia of Israel by Harriet Sirof.

Because of the high costs of four-color printing there are still not enough good picture-books being produced. Nevertheless, there has been a certain increase and Yeshiva Museum held an exhibit of original Jewish children's picture-book art. Two awards are given annually for the best Jewish children's picture-book and there is no lack of good artists.

The Jewish Book Council continues to develop attractive posters, bookmarks, and kits and to publicize Jewish Book Month in schools and libraries. It grants annual awards for the best children's books and regularly reviews children's books in the press releases it distributes to the Anglo-Jewish press.

Other awards are granted by the Association of Jewish Libraries and by Present Tense magazine. All this generates public interest in Jewish books.

Children's literature as a subject for scholarly study has become more established, and with it Jewish children's literature. It has been the theme of dissertations, articles, and course-work.

Another reason why Jewish children's literature is becoming more prominent is the growth of Jewish book clubs and direct mail techniques of advertising and ordering.

Trade and Jewish publishers currently publish catalogues of Jewish children's books, as do booksellers such as Eeyore in New York City, whose Eeyore's Books of Jewish Interest for Children features a narrative storyteller, Peninnah Schram, and The Jewish Bookshelf, whose computerized lists are always up-to-date. Both sell books by mail. Trade publishers who furnish separate bibliographies of Jewish children's books are Atheneum, Bantam, Dell, Farrar, the William Morrow Group and others. Holiday, Clarion, Doubleday, Holt and Watt are trade publishers with a substantial number of Jewish-content children's books listed in their catalogues.

The growth of Jewish libraries and other factors mentioned above have encouraged the compilation of bibliographies of books for Jewish children. Among them are Selected Jewish Children's Books by Dr. Marcia Posner (JWB Jewish Book Council, 1982, 1984); Jewish Children's Books: A Selected Bibliography of 100 Books for a Beginning Library (Assoc. of Jewish Libraries – SSC Division, 1982); and A Comprehensive Guide to Children's Literature with a Jewish Theme by Enid Davis (Schocken, 1981).

Reviews of Jewish children's books are available in the Anglo-Jewish press, courtesy of the JWB Jewish Book Council Jewish Books in Review and the Jewish Book Work, and in most Jewish periodicals.

Children's literature for Jewish children has been the subject of a dissertation ("The Search for Jewish Content in American Children's Fiction") and for a research article published in Phaedrus (1980) by Philip E. Miller and Naomi M. Patz, "Jewish Religious Children's Literature in America: An Analytical Survey." The Association of Jewish Libraries publishes a newsletter four times a year which reviews and discusses children's books. In their Building a Judaica Library Collection, Ruth and Meir Lubetski include sources for Jewish children's books even though their book is directed mainly toward academic and research libraries.

Slowly but steadily children's literature with Jewish themes is making progress in the United States. The first Conference on Jewish Children's Books was held by the Jewish Book Council in 1982.

[Marcia Posner]

Other Languages

FRENCH

Children's literature on Jewish themes has not been outstanding in France. Yet it was here that one of the first Jewish children's writers was active in the early 19th century – Esther Eugénie Rebecca Foa (1795–1853), who published novels and stories for the young, such as La Juive, histoire des temps de la Régence (1835). As in the English-speaking countries, some works of interest to Jewish children and adolescents were also translated from Hebrew and Yiddish, and others by French Jewish writers were also popular among the young. Edmond *Fleg's L'Enfant prophète (1927; The Boy Prophet, 1928), the story of a child's return to Judaism, was a classic example of this process. There have been various juvenile publications on Judaism and the Jewish heritage, and an anthology of Jewish stories for children, Les contes de l'arche de Noé (1955), was published by Renée Neher-Bernheim (1922– ), who also wrote popular works on Jewish history.

GERMAN

The picture was rather different in Germany and Austria, where books for Jewish children were more common from the mid-19th century. Some works by Berthold *Auerbach and Heinrich *Heine appealed to the young, as did the historical fiction of Ludwig Philippson, who endeavored to promote a sense of pride in Jewish heroism. Although they possessed more educational than literary value, the historical romances of the Orthodox writer Marcus *Lehmann, collected in Aus Vergangenheit und Gegenwart (6 vols., 1871–88), long enjoyed popularity among Jewish youngsters and many were translated into English and other languages. Others active in this field during the late 19th and early 20th century were M.S. Sperling, Eduard Kulke, C.Z. Kloetzel, and E. Gut (Fuer unsere Jugend, 3 vols., 1916–26). A comically titled German Jewish bestseller was Schabbes-Schmus, Schmonzes Berjonzes von Chaim Jossel (1907), which by 1912 had run to no less than 38 editions. Between the world wars, many books of interest to Jewish youngsters were published by Emil (Bernhard) Cohn. Heinrich Einstaedter and Karl Ochsenmann produced Bilder und Klaenge aus juedischer Welt (1925); and works about Ereẓ Israel were sponsored by the German Zionist organization, generally taking the form of translations from Hebrew literature. Irma Mirjam Berkowitz (1898–?) wrote children's fiction about life in Palestine, and Yaakov Simon's anthology Lasttraeger bin ich; juedische Jugendgeschichten aus dem neuen Palaestina (1936) was one of the last Zionist works for children to appear in Germany.

ITALIAN AND DUTCH

In Italy, too, attempts were made in the 19th century to promote adherence to Judaism by means of children's fiction. C. Coen's Scelto fior di memoria per fanciulli israeliti, a volume of poetry, appeared in 1860. The outstanding writer of books for Jewish youngsters was Giulia (Cassuto) Artom, who published illustrated works such as Prima-vera ebraica (1931). In the Netherlands, children's literature was rare, except for one or two books by Samuel Goudsmit (1884–1954), but several important works for and about Jewish children, notably the Diary of Anne Frank (Het Achterhuis, 1946), appeared after World War II.

[Godfrey Edmond Silverman]

ROMANIAN

The Zionist movement and the virulence of native antisemitism together provided the impulse for the creation of Jewish children's literature in Romania, where Jewish heroism and achievements were particularly emphasized. Translations from the Hebrew and Yiddish classics and from modern Hebrew works regularly appeared in the important fortnightly Copilul Evreu, a children's periodical that flourished between the world wars. Biblical, aggadic, and midrashic tales and legends also formed part of this publication and original contributions were made by Avram Axelrad, Marcel Breslaşu, Enric *Furtunt, B. Iosif, N. Kitzler, I. Mendelovici-Meron (the editor), Mayer *Rudich, and others. The Galil Publishing House also issued juvenile literature, such as N. Zelevinski's Minunata caˇlaˇtorie a unui copil evreu ("The Wonderful Journey of a Jewish Child," 2 vols., 1931). During the Nazi era, M. Blumenthal published works for Jewish children and adolescents (Pioneri evrei, 1942) sponsored by the Romanian Zionist organization; and Eugen Campus produced two volumes on Jewish folklore under the auspices of the Bucharest Sephardi community, Peştera vraˇjitaˇ ("The Enchanted Cave," 1942) and Vintule, tĭ harule ("Wind, You Scoundrel," 1942). In 1945, after the Nazi defeat, the Bikurim Publishing House issued booklets on the Jewish festivals, and a volume of Bible stories for children by Joachim *Prinz, issued by the World Jewish Congress, appeared in Romanian translation (1948). Under the Communist regime, activity in this field came to an end.

[Dora Litani-Littman]

HUNGARIAN

Jews were among the pioneers of general children's literature in Hungary, Adolf *Àgai editing the one important periodical for the young and Ferenc *Molnár becoming Hungary's outstanding children's writer; Molnár's A Pál-utcai fiuk (1907; The Paul Street Boys, 1927) was a classic novel about young people, and, like most of his works, was based on urban Jewish life. At first, most fiction for Jewish youngsters was restricted to translations from authors such as B. Auerbach, M. Lehmann, and I.L. Peretz. Subsequently, a few Hungarian Jewish writers published Zionist works for the young, notably L. Sass, Zs. Mészáros, and János *Giszkalay, who wrote for young people. As in Romania, their aim was to prevent the total assimilation of Hungarian Jewish youth. In general, however, Jewish writers paid little attention to the need for literature of this type. After World War II, all further activity in the field ceased following the Communist bar on Zionist work in 1949.

[Baruch Yaron]

RUSSIAN

In Eastern Europe, books for Jewish children were, understandably, most often written in Hebrew or Yiddish rather than in the vernacular. During the late 19th and early 20th century, however, Shimon (Semyon) *Frug wrote highly successful lyric poetry on Jewish national themes, some of which appeared in Russian as well as Hebrew and Yiddish. Frug's brilliant and stirring verse greatly appealed to Jewish youth immediately before the Bolshevik Revolution. Two other writers of the same period were P.G. Klaczko, author of Pod znamyenem Makkaveyev ("Under the Maccabean Banner," 1903), and M.I. Daiches, who edited anthologies of verse and prose for Jewish children, such as Yevreyskiye osenniye prazdniki ("The Jewish Autumn Holidays," 1913). After the revolution, Jews became prominent as children's writers in the U.S.S.R. Lev Abramovich *Kassil was, in fact, the outstanding creator of Soviet juvenile fiction, others in the field being Samuel *Marshak, his sister Yelena Ilina (1901–1964), and his brother M. Ilin (1895–1953). However, none of them wrote especially for Jewish children, although Kassil's autobiographical Shvambraniya (1933) does include a scene relating to his youthful protest against Gogol's antisemitism. More recently, Vetvi ("Branches"), a volume of stories in Russian about life in Israel, originally written in Hebrew by Miriam Yalan Stekelis, appeared under the auspices of the Davar Publishing House, Israel.

POLISH

Material specifically written for Jewish children was long negligible, consisting mainly of translations or of Zionist educational pamphlets issued by the Aviv Publishing House during the 1930s. The one major writer in the field was the educator Janusz Korczak, whose name is linked with the Jewish orphanage which he heroically guarded under the Nazi occupation. Korczak's output was extraordinarily prolific and includes an entire volume for and about Jewish youngsters, Mośki, Jośki, Srule (1910) and many other tales of Jewish life among the poor, as seen through the eyes of a child. Of these, one describes a child's petition to the king of England for unrestricted Jewish immigration to Palestine; another, dealing with kibbutz life, was based on Korczak's impressions after a year's stay in Ereẓ Israel. Literary activity of this type ceased after the Nazi annihilation of Polish Jewry.

[Esther Tarsi-Gay]

CZECH AND SERBO-CROATIAN

The only writers of importance in Czechoslovakia who published works for the Jewish youngster were Richard *Feder (Židovské besídky) and Ivan *Olbracht, whose Biblické příběhy ("Bible Tales," 1939) were specially adapted for the young. In Yugoslavia, Mirjam Weiller edited Priče za židovsku mladež (1919), a volume in Croatian, the same language being used for Samuel *Romano's children's verse collection Bajke, priče, slike Šemuela čike (1938). Two later Yugoslav authors of Jewish children's literature were the Zionist writer and translator Hinko *Gottlieb and the poet and translator Ina Jun *Broda.

IN LATIN AMERICA

The strongly secular and radical Yiddishist tradition in Latin America has discouraged the growth of any vernacular literature intended for Jewish children and adolescents, despite the existence of Jewish publishing houses such as Candelabro in the Argentine. Works on Jewish themes have at best been translated from Hebrew or other languages. Brazil has, however, been something of an exception to this rule in that a few writers have managed to create a small reservoir of books in Portuguese for the Jewish youngster. Some of these publications retold the Bible stories, others fostered an interest in Hebrew or Israel, others dealt with Judaism and the Jewish religious calendar. Brazilian authors and editors of books for Jewish children included Pedro Bloch, H. Lemle, Bat-Sheva Iussim Segal, and Henrique Iussim. The last named, who specialized in works on the Bible, eventually settled in Israel.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

G. Bergson, Sheloshah Dorot be-Sifrut ha-Yeladim ha-Ivrit (1966); Z. Scharfstein, Yoẓerei Sifrut ha-Yeladim Shellanu (1947); M. Regev, Sifrut Yeladim Mahutah u-Veḥinoteha (1967). YIDDISH: Mark, in: JBA, 3 (1945), 139–41; Niger, in: School Almanac (1935), 188–95; Kazdan, in: Shul Pinkes (1948), 335–79. For English translations of children's literature from Hebrew, see Goell, Bibl, 90–97. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: IN YIDDISH: A. Bar-El, Itonei Yeladim Yehudiim be-Polin: sikhum mehkar: kolel leksikon sofrim umeshorerim le-yeladim be-yidish (2002); idem, Bein ha-Eẓim ha-Yerakrakim: Itonei Yeladim be-Ivrit u-ve-Yidish be-Polin 1918–1919 (2005); D. Charney, in: Literarishe Bleter, 2 (20 Jan. 1939), 21–22; S. Niger, in, Shul-Almanakh (1935), 188–95; Kh.-Sh. Kazdan, in: Shul-Pinkes (1948), 335–79; Ch. Shmeruk, in: Di Goldene Keyt, 112 (1984), 39–53. HOLOCAUST LITERATURE: C. Bennett, & J. Gottsfeld, Anne Frank and Me (2001); G. Borchardt, Interview Reading Between the Lines at Event with Henry Weinstein, Los Angeles Times, Calendar Section (April 26, 2005); E. Bunting, Terrible Things (1980); A. Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl: The Critical Edition, D. Barnouw and G. van der Stroom (eds.), Arnold J. Pomerans and B.M. Mooyart-Doubleday (translators) (1989); G.W. Klein, All But My Life (1995); P. Levi, Survival in Auschwitz: The Nazi Assault on Humanity (1958); L. Lowry, Number the Stars (1989); R.H. Minear, Dr. Seuss Goes to War: The World War II Editorial Cartoons of Theodor Seuss Geisel (1999); U. Orlev, The Island on Bird Street (1984 [See also K. Shawn's Virtual Community, Real Life Connections: A Study of The Island on Bird Street via International Reading Project, in Samuel Totten (ed.), Teaching Holocaust Literature (2001.); R.M. Sender, The Cage (1986); K. Shawn, "What Should They Read and When Should They Read It?" in: Dimensions: A Journal of Holocaust Studies, 8:2 (1994), G1–G16 (See also "Choosing Holocaust Literature for Early Adolescents," in: Samuel Totten and Stephen Feinberg, (eds.), Teaching and Studying the Holocaust (2001), 139–55.); D. Sheridan, "Changing Business As Usual: Reader Response Theory in the Classroom," in: College English, 53:7 (November 1991), 804–14; A. Spiegelman, Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History (1973); idem, Maus II: A Survivor's Tale. And Here My Troubles Began (1986); Y. Suhl, Uncle Misha's Partisans (1973); N. Tec, Dry Tears. The Story of a Lost Childhood (1982); H. Volavkova, H. (ed.), I Never Saw Another Butterfly (1993); E. Wiesel, Legends of Our Time (1968); idem, Night (1960); S. Wiesenthal, The Sunflower: On the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness (1997); J. Yolen, The Devil's Arithmetic (1988); A. Zapruder, Salvaged Pages (2002).


Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.