Editorial Review

Tablet

Cover: Drop by Drop: A Story of Rabbi Akiva

“Drop by Drop: A Story of Rabbi Akiva by Jacqueline Jules, illustrated by Yevgenia Nayberg. Second-century sage Rabbi Akiva doesn’t get nearly enough ink. According to tradition, he was born a humble shepherd and didn’t learn to read until he was 40, yet he became one of the greatest rabbis in history. His wife, Rachel, was supposedly the driving force behind his journey from illiterate am-haaretz to brilliant scholar. In this poetic retelling, Rachel encourages Akiva to learn to read and to study Torah. Despite her love and support, he doesn’t believe he’s capable until one day he looks into a brook and sees a rock that has been worn away by steadily dripping water. ‘Water is soft,’ he thinks. ‘And yet, drop by drop, it has managed to cut through this hard stone. My mind is not harder than a rock!’ Eventually, Akiva is hailed by the entire town, but he makes sure everyone knows that Rachel is a hero, too. Nayberg’s sophisticated, intensely colored, theatrical illustrations enhance the lovely writing. A costume and set designer, she brings the drama and intensity of stained-glass windows to her work. The luminous layers of color, swirls of water, striated hills in multiple greens, swoops of fabric in the characters’ robes….just lovely. (Ages 3-7)” – Tablet Mag

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Drop by Drop: A Story of Rabbi Akiva
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