A Basket Full of Figs (Paperback)
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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.
Listed in 'It's an Art’ articleJewish News, 10th September 2020
Children's books – serious and entertainingJewish Chronicle, 7th February 2020
As featured on Publishers WeeklyPublishers Weekly
There are numerous variations on this classic story. In this one, the lessons are clear enough for young children to discuss and absorb, and it is accompanied by expressive color illustrations and an appealing layout. This is a perfect book for parents or teachers to share aloud with children. Ongoing discussion of the theme can be tailored to age and individual experience and is certain to provide insightful exchanges of opinion as well as a slice of ancient Jewish history.Jewish Book Council
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Elon’s carefully chosen words convey the message as persuasively as the Halberstadt’s pictures... The delicate lines and subtle earth tones of Halberstadt’s pictures invite caregivers and children to read this book together. When Elon summarizes the enduring strength of the old man’s philosophy, we can only hope it is still true today.Imaginary Elevators
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I thought that this was a lovely story!NetGalley, Donna Maguire
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.
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’Kirkus Reviews, 24th November 2019
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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.NetGalley, Natalie Horman
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.
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, Vonda Svara
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.
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.NetGalley, Laura Testa-Reyes
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.
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 starsNetGalley, Kathleen Salkeld
Beautifully illustrated and a wonderful message! The story pulls themes of patients, generosity, and gratefulness without being overbearing. Great read!
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