Green Bean Books

The Magician’s Visit

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Written by Barbara Diamond Goldin
Illustrated by Eva Sanchez Gomez

Price: £10.99 / $13.99
Pages: 32
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781784386658

Highlights

  • An evocative retelling of a classic Jewish tale by I. L. Peretz – one of the greatest classical Yiddish writers of all time
  • Adapted by acclaimed children’s author Barbara Diamond Goldin
  • Stunning art by award-winning illustrator Eva Sánchez Gómez
  • Teaches the importance of generosity, kindness and hospitality
  • A perfect tale for introducing young ones to the lessons of Passover
  • For ages 4–8

Description

Jonah and Rebecca have fallen on hard times and as Passover approaches they cannot afford any of the things they need to celebrate the festival.

“God will come to our aid” Jonah insists, even on Seder night as the house is dark and his table empty. When a magician knocks on their door asking to join their Seder, they are unable to oblige, but the stranger is undeterred. “I have brought the Seder with me” he claims, snapping his fingers to produce two lit candlesticks.

At the magician’s command, the house is transformed and the table is laid with everything Rebecca and Jonah could need for a perfect Seder and a fabulous Passover feast. But is this all a magician’s illusion or could it be the heavenly intervention by the prophet Elijah?

The Magician’s Visit has been adapted from a classic folktale by I. L. Peretz – one of the greatest Yiddish writers of all time. Written by acclaimed children’s author Barbara. Diamond Goldin and with beautiful new illustrations by award-winning illustrator Eva Sánchez Gómez, this is a spellbinding retelling of a much-loved tale.

Author Details

Isaac Leib Peretz (1852–1915) was one of the greatest classical Yiddish-language writers of all time. Some of his most important works are Oyb Nisht Nokh Hekher (If Not Higher), Bontshe Shvayg (Bontsche the Silent) and Der Kuntsenmakher (The Magician), from which The Magician’s Visit has been adapted.

Barbara Diamond Goldin is an award-winning children’s author who has written picture books, story collections, non-fiction, retellings and historical fiction. In 1997, she received the prestigious Sydney Taylor Body-of-Work Award from the Association of Jewish Libraries for her distinguished contribution to Jewish literature for children. A former preschool teacher, language arts teacher and librarian, she is currently the director of a public library. She also leads writing workshops and speaks about being a writer to school and library groups.

Read her interview >

Illustrator Details

Eva Sánchez Gómez graduated in Fine Arts from University of Barcelona before focusing on illustration in Escola Francesca Bonnemaison. She has illustrated several picture books from across the world and won multiple awards, including the 4th Edelvives International Picture Book Contest for Dip (Spain, 2015) and the first prize of the XIV Concorso Illustratori in Premio Letteratura Ragazzi 39th edition for Dimenticare Berni (Spain, 2018).

Reviews

‘In this masterful retelling of Peretz’s Yiddish tale, Goldin takes readers back to an old world shtetl. In the days before Passover, a stranger dressed in rags mesmerizes the villagers with his spellbinding magic. When he turns up at the door of a couple who have become too poor to make their own Seder, the magician produces a wondrous and full table. May they partake in this Seder? the couple asks. And who is the stranger, who has disappeared when they return. Gomez’s colorful illustrations capture the era and the magic of the story.’ – Penny Schwartz, Jewish Telegraph Agency

‘Barbara Diamond Goldin’s traditional retelling of the Yiddish fable takes place in a small village. The magician is a wandering one who pulls ribbons from his mouth and turkeys from his boots. The protagonists, Jonah and Rebecca, are a poor but generous couple who give their last pennies to the Passover fund. Eva Sanchez Gomez’s soft palette and colored-pencil illustrations add a warm glow to scenes such as the couple watching in amazement as they receive a complete Passover seder, from candles to food and even cushioned chairs, the result of their kindness and “a gift from heaven brought by the prophet Elijah himself.”’ – Hadassah Magazine

‘Noted author and storyteller Barbara Diamond Goldin has revamped her 1993 publication with publisher Green Bean Books by choosing a different illustrator who lightens the telling with beautiful pastels that enhance the magic of the story… the book relays a magician/stranger who fascinates the villagers with his tricks in the town square as Passover draws near. Soon after this exhibition, children Jonah and Rebecca, who are poor and cannot hold a seder with their own families due to lack of food, open their door to find the magician, who then miraculously creates a truly sumptuous seder for all. Without revealing himself, the humble and deserving family realizes the great Elijah has visited, which is the hope of all Jews on Passover night.’ – Lisa Silverman, Jewish Journal

‘As with all Green Bean picture books, this is a work of art. Eva Sanchez Gomez bring a spiritual glow to her illustrations, allowing a suggestion of miraculous light to shine through the pencil strokes.’
– The Jewish Chronicle
‘Yid­dish author I. L. Peretz’s Passover sto­ry of gen­eros­i­ty and faith, The Magi­cian, has been adapt­ed into sev­er­al pic­ture books over the years. Bar­bara Dia­mond Goldin, who has pre­vi­ous­ly adapt­ed the sto­ry, has a new ver­sion, The Magician’s Vis­it, illus­trat­ed this time by Eva Sánchez Gómez. The book more than jus­ti­fies updat­ing a clas­sic, offer­ing a dif­fer­ent visu­al inter­pre­ta­tion that com­bines the tan­gi­ble real­i­ties of Jew­ish life in the shtetls of East­ern Europe with deeply imag­ined sym­bol­ism express­ing time­less Jew­ish val­ues… Goldin’s words and Sánchez Gómez’s pic­tures make this clas­sic story’s cen­tral para­dox of faith in a moment of despair tan­gi­ble for children.

The Magician’s Vis­it is high­ly rec­om­mend­ed and includes ques­tions and answers for dis­cus­sion, as well as a glossary.’ – Emily Schneider, Jewish Book Council

‘Barbara Diamond Goldin’s traditional retelling of the Yiddish fable takes place in a small village. The magician is a wandering one who pulls ribbons from his mouth and turkeys from his boots. The protagonists, Jonah and Rebecca, are a poor but generous couple who give their last pennies to the Passover fund. Eva Sanchez Gomez’s soft palette and colored-pencil illustrations add a warm glow to scenes such as the couple watching in amazement as they receive a complete Passover seder, from candles to food and even cushioned chairs, the result of their kindness and “a gift from heaven brought by the prophet Elijah himself.”’ – Hadassah Magazine