Book Review: The Wren and the Sparrow by J. Patrick Lewis, ill. by Yevgenia Nayberg

wren and sparrowThe Wren and the Sparrow

Written by J. Patrick Lewis and illustrated by Yevgenia Nayberg

32 pages, Kar-Ben, 2015

In this self-professed fable, an old man called the Wren plays his hurdy-gurdy for the last time, and with the help of his student, Sparrow, inspires a small Polish town during the dark times.

The good stuff

  • Simple, yet powerful, lyrical writing
    • “In a dark time, the Old Man lived in shadows”
    • “The day sealed itself into the lockbox of memory”
  • Illustration that shows the reader the time frame is the Holocaust while the text does not mention war or Hitler
    • Barbed wire and crows
    • Nazis shown in over-proportionate size to villagers
  • Memorable imagery
    • A six-year-old’s ten finger cymbals tinkled
    • The loss of music

The not-so-good stuff

  • Not so much a fable as an allegory

Overall rating: 5.0 on 5.0 scale

About Barbara Krasner

History writer and award-winning author Barbara Krasner writes Jewish-themed poetry, articles, nonfiction books, and novels for children and adults.
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1 Response to Book Review: The Wren and the Sparrow by J. Patrick Lewis, ill. by Yevgenia Nayberg

  1. Barbara A. Edwards says:

    Shabbat Shalom my Beloved Jewish Brothers and Sisters.

    I pray that all was well for all on this July 4 2015.

    Barbara as I think of you so often fighting the Cancer, Here are a few words of encouragement.

    Version of Life

    As I Ponder
    In the Midst of Age
    My Vision Intermingles
    With the Version of Life.

    Family, Music, Poetry,
    Socialization, Success, Failure,
    Wisdom, Love
    Life within and of Itself.

    Wherefore, where art Thou?
    I need oh so often to be Held.
    Memories of when I was Loved
    and knew Love
    We are Never Alone,
    The Calm of Adonai’s Elan Vitale
    Is upon Us.

    Memories will keep us Alive
    Even though Illness is
    Without Cure and Overwhelms

    Defeat is Not and Never will be
    An Option.


    Barbara A. Edwards

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