New York; The Author, 1903. Item #31545
Contemporary printed boards. 16mo. 64 pages. 16 cm. Ninth revised and enlarged edition. Revised by Martha Washington Levy. With frontispiece map of Palestine. One of several scarce printings of this item. The author explains Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, and portions of the Prophets and Judges. Questions for children follow each chapter. The author was a scholar and prominent New York Rabbi, one of the founders of the Conservative Jewish publication, The American Hebrew; and among the original members of the New York Board of Jewish Ministers, founded in 1881. A harsh contemporary review of this item: “The Child's First Bible’ by F. De Sola Mendes. Here only the most startling and fanciful stories are given. Whatever is devoid of strangeness is either completely ignored or dismissed with a word. Thus out of the twenty chapters that the book comprises, one is given to the account of the Ten Plagues, while only a single word to the Ten Commandments. To Daniel also he devotes a whole chapter, while of the Prophets in Israel, whose careers were not spectacular like that of Elijah, Isaiah alone is given, and that only incidentally. Of the Judges, Samson is the favorite; and but for the author's gallantry, Deborah would not receive even honorary mention. Evidently, the ‘Child's First Bible’ is a storybook, and as such it is a dismal failure. Despite the fact that it is written mainly in words of one and two syllables, it is deficient even in adaptation of language. ‘Circumcision, ’ ‘Idolatrous, ’ ‘Prevailed, ’ ‘Conjurers’ are not a part of a young child's ordinary vocabulary. Besides, the book contains altogether too many proper names. Every other element of a good story for children is conspicuously absent. These facts compel the statement that ‘The Child's First Bible’ should be the very last to be placed in the hands of the young child, for fear lest being the first it might be the last. ” (Yearbook of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, volume 19, pg. 378-9) . Subjects: Bible stories, English - O. T - Juvenile literature. Children - Conduct of life - Juvenile literature. OCLC lists 3 copies of this edition (HUC, Spertus, Yeshiva) . Binding repaired, boards soiled, writing on endpages, tear along map edge, otherwise, internally clean and fresh. Very good condition. (AMR-44-7).