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WHY, ZAIDA? Reviews



The Canadian Jewish News: Toronto, Ontario

The book "Why, Zaida?" by Alvin Abram, illustrated by Judy Willemsma, talks about that kind of person -- a grandfather who talks about the Holocaust only after his grandson asks and asks. Nevertheless, the grandfather has to answer his grandson. He does this with the time-honoured technique of parables, stories that help teach a lesson -- a robin eating a worm, a dog chasing a squirrel, a leaf caught in a stream, a grassy bank. Every page has beautiful illustrations in lush greens, blues and browns.

Leila Speisman


Jewish Free Press: Calgary, Alberta

Author uses metaphors from nature to explain the Holocaust. Why, Zaida explains the brutality of the unnamed Nazi regime and its collaborators by drawing another analogy as they see a dog attempting to prey on a squirrel. Likewise, he likens evil to weeds, which threatens the good grass if left unchecked. Alvin Abram's sensitive exploration is beautifully illustrated by Judy Willemsma. Interspersed with illustrations and text are the Yiddish words for Why, Zaida? . . . Abram generalizes the story -- perhaps to provide a gentle more universal approach to young readers first being introduced to the potentially traumatic subject matter.

Maxine Fischbein