From the moment they’re born, children are fascinated by faces. Babies and toddlers spend so much of their day intently studying faces that by the time they turn five, they’re able to identify and label facial expressions with almost as much accuracy as adults. Given young children’s passion for faces, the Book Selection Committee was delighted to discover Debra B. Darvick’s We Are Jewish Faces (an adaptation of Darvick’s earlier 2009 book entitled I Love Jewish Faces.)
In her introduction, Darvick explains that her goal in creating this photo essay was to capture the diversity of what Jewish faces look like in today’s world. The book overflows with clear, colorful images of faces of all ages and ethnicities dancing the hora at a wedding, hugging a Torah, eating matzah, blowing a shofar, lighting a menorah, hula hooping, and playing musical instruments. Yemenite, Asian, African American, and Caucasian faces giggle, smile, frown, and celebrate joyous moments on the playful pages of this gentle rhyming book.
Like the members of the We Need Diverse Books movement, we on PJ Library’s Book Selection Committee dream of the day when all PJ Library children will be able to find themselves within the pages of a PJ book. We Are Jewish Faces, the book which many toddlers and their families will be receiving this month, enables us to diversify our book offerings, while captivating and entertaining some of our youngest readers.
November 6, 2018