Books for Children of The World: The Story of Jella Lepman

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With the shortage of books for children in post-World War II Germany, Jella Lepman personally translated The Story of Ferdinand into German. She then printed and distributed 30,000 copies to give to children on Christmas day. She then enlisted the U.S. Army's help in furnishing a jeep and driver to travel around Germany collecting books for a children's library, with contributions from 20 international publishers.
ISBN: 9781589804388
Format: Hardback
Publisher: Pelican Publishing
Images: 30
Pages: 32
Dimensions: 8.5 (w) x 11 (h)
When she was eight years old, Sydelle Pearl developed such a fascination for Helen Keller that one day she sat down and wrote her impressions of the blind and deaf girl. That same year, Pearl began writing poetry, a novel, and a one-act play called Lesson with the Ghost. Pearl, who lives in Brookline, Massachusetts, is now a professional storyteller making appearances at schools for children and adults alike. Pearl remembers many adults in her life who encouraged her to continue writing. Her mother, a playwright, kept many books that focused on social issues, while her father was an avid reader of books on politics and history. Pearl finds an inextricable relationship in telling, writing, listening, and reading, as she has "always loved and been sensitive to the sound and rhythm of words." A writer of folk songs for adults and children, she is also fond of incorporating songs into her stories. On one occasion, Pearl was asked to tell stories at a local Hebrew school. Unable to find material to her liking, she decided to write her own stories instead. "Somehow," she recalls, "they all had something to do with the prophet Elijah." After finishing these stories, Pearl decided to make a tape of them, which eventually became her book Elijah's Tears: Stories for the Jewish Holidays. The book was named an ABA Pick of the List title and a Storytelling World Honor Award Honoree in 1997 and was highlighted on the Best Books for 1998 by the Children's Book Committee at the Bank Street College of Education in New York City. Pearl's newest title, Books for Children of the World, is the biography of Jella Lepman, the U.S. Armyís cultural and educational advisor to the women and children of post-World War II Germany. Lepman was responsible for creating the International Exhibition of Childrenís Books and also worked with the Rockefeller Foundation to build a full library in Munich, Germany. Sydelle Pearl received her masterís degree in library science from Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts.
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