We finally have this extraordinary picture book in our collection! The tale is simple: a boy goes on errands with his mother, and then takes the train home. Dylan, the boy, can't get his mom to listen to the man playing violin in the station. The underlying message is so powerful! Stop! Look! Listen! to the beauty in the world around us.
Based on a true incident, Joshua Bell took his priceless Stradivarius violin to a Washington, D.C. train station as part of an experiment to see what would happen if one of the world's best violinists performed there dressed like an ordinary street musician. To hear the beautiful music that Joshua Bell plays listen at this link, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UM21gPmkDpI
The author and the illustrator have managed to create a seamless, visually beautiful book. As Dylan notices things we see this in color. The mom's world is illustrated in black and white. To read and hear more from the artist and the illustrator go to this video link, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4H4ViR4EKI
Yesterday I had the pleasure of putting the finishing stitches on a hagurah for the upper school Torah. While at Wells Avenue last week for pre-opening day professional development I sat in tefillot and heard Rabbi Amy say that the binder that keeps the Torah from unrolling when it is put away had gone astray. After services I volunteered to crochet a belt as I had done the year before for the lower school Torah. Earlier this week I got out my cotton yarns and looked at the colors available. There was a whole array of colors ranging from red to pink, hot yellow to green including two different shades of blues and purples as well. What richness of color I thought, but I didn't know until I began crocheting with the red yarn that the design would take the colors of the rainbow. I wanted it to be special for our upper school students and realized that the rainbow design would not only be bright and colorful but that it would have meaning and remind us all of the covenant that God made with us. Rabbi Ari Kahn wrote, "The world is not "black and white," rather it is composed of many hues and shades like the rainbow." I appreciated how all of this was coming together.
Add to this the new picture book that was bought for the lower school library.
Jacob's New Dress by Sarah and Ian Hoffman focuses on Jacob's desire to wear a dress while dealing with the issues of inclusiveness and bullying all at a level that our children will understand. Like the reviewer Carrie Goldman, "I swallowed against a lump in my throat as I read Jacob’s story, so deeply did it touch me. I found myself cheering for Jacob, for his earnest parents, for his teacher, and for the students trying to sort out what it means to be a boy or a girl."
By creating this little gift of the hagurah at the beginning of this school year, not only did I create the binder to dress the Torah but I was reminded that in my work as a librarian teacher I am obligated to respect the individual colors of all of my students and to nurture their educational, emotional, physical and creative differences. I see it as sacred work.
My students call me "Lori the Librarian." For the past 24 years I have had the best job as School Librarian in the Aaron Kushner Library for grades K-3 at the Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Boston.