Friday, February 15, 2008

Castle on Hester Street by Linda Heller illustrated by Boris Kulikov

The 25th anniversary edition of this immigrant tale is made new and fresh with the quirky, colorful illustrations of Boris Kulikov. Grandchild Julie sits with a ball of yarn on her lap as she listens to "yarns" told by her grandpa of their immigration from Russia. Grandma is connected with the yarn as she knits and keeps her grandaughter grounded in truth. "Enough is enough, from now on I insist that Julie hears only the truth." Grandpa stands between them as he spins the yarns taller and more fantastical....stories of castles so tall the pigeons couldn't fly to the roof, large buttons, and meetings with President Theodore Roosevelt. Finally Grandpa promises that the truth will be all that passses through his lips. The promise doesn't last as he whispers "Did I ever tell you about the time Moishe the goat and I sang for President Wilson?" All in all the yarns spun are full of love and courage as the Jewish newcomers struggle to make their way, raising their family in the new country, "living free as they wanted."

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