Wednesday, July 4, 2012
My Favorite Picture Books: When Jessie Came Across the Sea
When Jessie Came Across the Sea by Amy Hest, illustrated by P. J. Lynch
In the past few weeks, I've been reading through a lot of picture books on immigration and Ellis Island in search of one or two to read as a supplement to our American History studies next year. After all of them, When Jessie Came Across the Sea is still my favorite.
P. J. Lynch's illustrations are works of art, everything realistic children's books illustrations should aspire to be. The facial expressions are so endearing I find myself wanting to reach out and comfort Jessie or cry for joy with her.
Perfectly complementing the beautiful artwork is a story of perseverance, dedication and love for family. Unexpectedly, Jessie is chosen by her Rabbi to take his ticket to travel to America. She lives with the Rabbi's sister-in-law, a complete stranger who tells her to call her Cousin Kay. Jessie's life in New York City is one of work, but also learning and beauty as she goes to school and enjoys walks through Central Park. Week after week, she drops her pay into a jar. When she's ready to marry, she tells her future husband they must wait while she saves a little more money. All these years, she hasn't been saving for a dress or a house or books; she's been saving for a ticket for grandmother to join her in New York.
It's really just too lovely to miss! And, if you are very patient, you may receive a wonderful hardcover edition of the book from PaperBackSwap.com, as I did. (But not mine!)