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A Basket Full of Figs (Paperback)

Colour Books Children's Books

By Ori Elon, Illustrations by Menahem Halberstadt
Imprint: Green Bean Books
Pages: 32
Illustrations: 30
ISBN: 9781784384722
Published: 15th January 2020

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‘I plant a fig, I plant a gift. For children, for the coming generations.’

When the Emperor Hadrian gallops into the village, its inhabitants hide in fear. All except one. An old man, almost one hundred years old, comes outside to plant a fig tree.

Hadrian stops his horse. ‘What are you doing?’ he asks the old man. ‘That tree is so small and you are so old!
 Surely you won’t live long enough to eat its fruit!’ The old man responds: ‘if I don’t then my children will’.

Three years later, Hadrian returns. Meeting the old man again, he is shocked to see that the tree has grown and it is covered in figs. The old man’s prophecy of gifts for future generations has come true.

Recreating one of the Midrash’s most beautiful tales, A Basket of Figs teaches the importance of caring for the environment and consideration for our fellow human beings. Ori Alon’s enchanting storytelling and Menahem Halberstadt’s stunning illustrations bring this wise fable to life on the page, to inspire and delight young readers.

I thought that this was a lovely story!

It has a great flow to it and I loved the images - they added a lot to the story and really brought it to life.

The story is the re-telling of a traditional tale is of an old man who plants a fig tree which is not for himself to enjoy as he is very old, but for his children and grandchildren and many generations after him to enjoy too. It is certainly a book that gives you food for thought as an adult too (no puns at all intended!)

It is 4 stars from me for this one, it was a great story that showed the importance of caring for our world, the environment and our future.

NetGalley, Donna Maguire

Love when skilled writers and artists make old stories new. The message resonates through to this generation greatly.

NetGalley, Emily Tucker

'A Roman emperor learns the importance of respecting generations….. Perfect for Earth Day and every day’

Click here to read the full review

Kirkus Reviews, 24th November 2019

What a delightful and thought provoking read this book is. The tale is of an old man who plants a fig tree which is not for himself to enjoy as he is very old, but for his children and grandchildren and many generations after him to enjoy too.
This book teaches children of the importance of caring for and nurturing the environment around us to ensure it continues and grows for others after us.

A beautiful tale and beautiful art work within the book which brings it to life.

NetGalley, Natalie Horman

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

What a beautiful tale of old! It teaches to take care of our Earth and plants, then it will be here for generations to come. Nice illustrations.

NetGalley, Vonda Svara

Apparently this story of an old man planting a fig tree not for himself, but for future generations is a tale from the Midrash, the Jewish interpretation of the Talmud, the sacred texts of the old testament.

It is a simple story. An old man plants a tree, and the Emperor Hadrian asks what the point is. He will not benefit from it. The old man explains that it is not meant for him alone, but for those who come after him. One does not always do things just for their own benefit, but for future generations.

It is something we should always remember.

I love the expressions on the old man's face, and that of the children. It is such a lively book, and simple in message.

NetGalley, Laura Testa-Reyes

This was a good story about the importance of caring for our world. The story kept my daughter interested, but her favorite part was the illustrations. They were full of life and interesting things to look at. It's a good book, and any child would enjoy.

NetGalley, BreeAnn Kaczmarczyk

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Beautifully illustrated and a wonderful message! The story pulls themes of patients, generosity, and gratefulness without being overbearing. Great read!

NetGalley, Kathleen Salkeld

A simple story about an old man who plants a fig tree and a king. It teaches the importance of caring for the planet and the next generation.

NetGalley, Emily Myhren

About Ori Elon

Ori Elon is an award-winning Israeli filmmaker and writer. He is the author of The Invisible Show (2008) which won the Israeli Ministry of Culture Best Novel award. He has written several children's books including King Gogle (2010) and In the Z’akrobat (2015). He is the co-creator and writer of the critically acclaimed television drama Shtisel which won 17 Israeli Academy Awards (including Best Script for Drama) and was one of the writers of the drama series Srugim.


About Menahem Halberstadt

Menahem Halberstadt began to draw in school, scribbling in notebooks and creating funny creatures and characters. Since school, all of his work has been inspired by his interests as a creator, to create worlds of characters with emotions and stories.


 


Halberstadt studied painting and drawing under the instruction of the famous Israeli artists Leonid Balaklav and Aram Gershuni. Following this, he studied animation at the Betzalel Academy and graphic design at Hadassah Academic College, Jerusalem.


 


Halberstadt works as an illustrator with a number of publishing houses in Israel. He lives in Israel with his wife and four children.

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