Alef is for Abba

  • Interest Level: Preschool - Grade 1
  • Reading Level: Grade 2

Kids learn twenty Hebrew words that start with alef, the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, in this unusual “flip book.” From one side mom (a word that starts with alef in Hebrew) goes through a typical day with her little one doing all things that start with alef, while from the “flip side,” dad (the Hebrew word for dad also starts with alef) does the same. The family meets in the middle.

Format Your Price Add
Interest Level Preschool - Grade 1
Reading Level Grade 2
Genre Picture Books, Social Studies
Copyright 2014
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Kar-Ben Publishing ®
Language English
Number of Pages 24
Publication Date 2014-08-01
BISACS JUV013060, JUV033020, JUV009080
Dewey [E]
Graphics Full-color illustrations
Dimensions 9.75 x 9.75
Features Author/Illustrator biography, Glossary, Original artwork, and Reviewed


AJL Newsletter

“This two-in-one flip book features the story Alef is for Abba. Turn the book upside down and Alef is for Ima is on the other side. Hebrew words that begin with the letter alef are included on each page. The Hebrew word, the transliteration, and the definition are listed. Most of the words are items in the house such as or (light) and oniyah (boat) or in everyday life as adom (red) or ochel (food). The bright, primary-colored illustrations portray characters in activities defining the words. A simple book that will appeal to young children learning Hebrew.” — AJL Newsletter

Kirkus Reviews

“Writing an ABC book has its challenges, as the end of the book may involve a xylophone, yogurt and a zebra; Kafka’s story is refreshingly unarbitrary.

Fortunately, the author had to work with only one letter of the alphabet, the Hebrew letter Alef. The book presents two back-to-back stories about a father and a mother, Abba and Ima in Hebrew, both of which begin with Alef, as do all the Hebrew words that follow. (Each word appears three times: in Hebrew characters, Romanized Hebrew and English.) Each story follows the family from morning till night. The one focusing on Ima begins with light (or) shining through the window and ends with a big meal (aruchah) after dark. Even the odder word choices are appropriate and can be strangely moving. Nose (af) shows up when the mother rubs noses with her son at bedtime. And happiness (osher) is represented by toys strewn all over the floor and the furniture. After children read about Abba (or Ima), they then flip the book over for the other story. The word choices mostly avoid stereotypes, but it’s too bad that only Abba gets to leave the house; Ima is busy cooking. Basaluzzo’s brightly colored illustrations are charming without being sentimental.

How fortuitous that the last three words all start with Alef; they are: ‘Ani ohev otchah! I love you!’ " — Kirkus Reviews

Author: Rebecca Kafka

Illustrator: Constanza Basaluzzo

Constanza Basaluzzo was born in Argentina where she still lives with her husband and kitten. In her spare time she enjoys reading (especially children's books), and visiting toy stores.