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The Magician's Visit (Hardback)

Children's Books

By Barbara Diamond Goldin, Illustrations by Eva Sánchez Gómez
Imprint: Green Bean Books
Pages: 32
Illustrations: 50 colour illustrations
ISBN: 9781784386658
Published: 28th February 2021

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RRP £12.99

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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.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I thought that this book was really, really lovely and each page was a delight. It was a magical read in so many ways!

The images in the book suit the story perfectly and it is a story that I loved reading with my daughter. It has a lovely flow to it and it is very well written too.

I thought that the characters were lovely and the message of belief was great and this is just the perfect book to read and share with a loved one – it had a great moral to the story.

It is 5 stars from me for this one, very highly recommended!

NetGalley, Donna Maguire

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This is a very special children's book, which is spiritual and magical. It has really amazing artwork and a beautiful story. The story is about Jonah and Rebecca who have no money to buy the items and food they need to celebrate Passover. On Seder night a magician comes to help them celebrate and he brings them all that they need. They have a magical time! I loved this book and I highly recommend it.

NetGalley, Catherine Craig (Angelic Light)

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

"The Magician's Visit" is a wonderful Passover story, brilliantly illustrated, and full of warmth. A beautiful message of generosity, gratitude, and hope. This book would be a welcome addition to any library collection.

NetGalley, Kristin Hare

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

A couple is rewarded for their generosity in the nicest possible manner on Passover.

I did not know this tale before I read the book, I merely reached for it because I am in the mood for picture books, the cover is beautiful and I never read a Jewish picture book, which I considered a hole in my reading.

This is very atmospheric. The detailed illustrations look like coloured pencils to me and a very nice colour palette was chosen to accompany the text. You could lose yourself in these pictures.

At the back of the book there is a short explanation of Passover, what Sedar is, and some further terms I mostly didn't know. So this book is another instance of learning while being entertained, which is the best kind of learning because you're most likely to retain some knowledge.
I hope that this will not only bring joy to Jewish readers but also that other people will reach for it, like I did, and learn something, and be it only that there is more on this planet than Christianity.

NetGalley, Kim Deinaß

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

A really impressive book, that will manage to find a home in schools and educational centres, and also be a volume gifted throughout the Jewish communities of the world. While a village is amazed by the arrival of a wondrous magician at the start of Passover, a down-on-their-luck couple cannot think of celebrating with their own Seder meal, until a strange visitor offers a solution – but is it a real answer to their problems, or just an illusion? I can't say I know anything of the original, pre-WWI telling of this story, but the text here in this adaptation is perfectly fine for a full family audience. And the visuals are just incredible – pretty much all just pastel pinks and blues, warping into a tiny tint of other colours very sparingly, and conveying the magic of the whole scenario in wonderful, wondrous ways. Everything is perfectly presented, and perfectly respectful of the rituals of the Seder, the people who might not have afforded it from no fault of their own, and the history of the entire festival of Passover. I find this to be a book that's just impossible to quibble over.

NetGalley, John Lloyd

Lovely heartwarming tale, that touches on the celebration of Passover, and some of the traditions they have.

NetGalley, Kirstie Jones

About Barbara Diamond Goldin

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.


About Eva Sánchez Gómez

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).

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