Why shouldn’t a big boy with strong sneakers crush an ant if that’s what he wants to do?
Well, the ant has several compelling ideas about that. None of them favor his immediate demise.
Urim Publications (Israel) has released a captivating children’s story entitled Hey, Little Ant! in 1998. Written in Hebrew, the title reads, “Hay, Nemalah!” Authors Phillip and Hannah Hoose succeeded with eloquent phrasing suited for elementary school students. Debbie Tilley’s illustrations enhance the book’s perspective, humor and drama welcoming readers to “drop in” (and way down) to specific scenes and see them from the mindset of particular characters.
The dialogue between Bully Boy and Little Ant is easy to understand, even if you speak only a rudimentary Hebrew. It might even advance your vocabulary. The context is simple, the pictures clearly illustrate the conversation, and the vowelization keeps things simple. Anyone not skilled at reading Hebrew without vowels can rest assured that they need not stutter with this fairy tale.
A colorful hardcover only 26 pages long, adults and young listeners will have fun turning the lap-sized book around in order to view various scenes better. Aliyah-minded parents eager to coax children into developing Hebrew literacy and speaking skills will find “Hey, Nemalah” a delightful resource.
The cliffhanger of an ending will provoke discussions, re-readings, and goal-directed, vocabulary-rich thought for all concerned. And it’s a natural launching pad for relevant halachic discussions about causing needless pain and suffering.
Now what could be better in a piece of literature?