Thursday, April 26, 2012

[BOOK REVIEW] Golem by David Wisniewski

Title:  Golem

Author: David Wisniewski

Genre: Folktale / Jewish / Monsters

Year Published: 1996

Year Read: 2010

Publisher: Clarion Books

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 8+ (Frightening Imagery and Scenes of the Persecution of Jews)

“Golem” is a Caldecott Medal award winning book by David Wisniewski which is about how the Jews are being persecuted because of the “blood lie” and how Rabbi Loew tries to figure out a way to save the Jews by building a Golem! “Golem” is a great and dark story that might please older children and adults, but it will definitely scare smaller children who do not understand the book’s mature content.

David Wisniewski has done a brilliant job at writing and illustrating this book. David Wisniewski’s writing is extremely dramatic and intense as it discusses the persecution of the Jews and his description of the Golem as being a frightening yet obedient being makes the story intense and somewhat heartwarming at the same time. David Wisniewski’s illustrations are frightening yet beautiful at the same time especially whenever David Wisniewski illustrates the lightning during the resurrection of the Golem and the lightning would spread across the whole page and look both frightening and fascinating at the same time. Also, David Wisniewski uses cardboard figures including the characters to illustrate the story and therefore, makes this story extremely captivating and realistic at the same time.

Parents should know that this book is too scary for smaller children since the story is too dark as it describes the persecution of the Jews in such vivid detail that it will scare small children. Also, the images in this book are extremely intense, especially of the image of Rabbi Loew resurrecting the Golem and there is lightning all over the page while the Golem’s expression looks extremely terrifying as it has a surprised and painful expression on its face as lightning shoots out of its eyes and mouth while it is being resurrected. Parents might want to steer young children away from this book until they are old enough to learn more about the persecution of the Jews and can handle the frightening images.

“Golem” is a truly brilliant yet frightening book about the persecution of the Jews and their savior that older children will love because of the amount of excitement and drama involved in the story. I would recommend this book to children ages eight and up because of the themes of the persecution of the Jews and the frightening images will frighten small children who do not understand about the persecution of the Jews and can not handle the frightening images in the book.

* 1997 Caldecott Medal

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