Grandpa’s Third Drawer by Judy Tal Kopelman

thirddrawerReview of Grandpa’s Third Drawer by Judy Tal Kopelman

The original Hebrew edition of Grandpa’s Third Drawer won the Israeli Ze’ev Prize for Children’s Literature in 2003. This children’s picture book is marketed for 5-8 year-olds as a gentle way to introduce them to the Holocaust.

“The third drawer of his [grandpa’s] desk is always locked. No one ever opens it…I wonder why it is forbidden…”

The premise is wonderful, what is this hidden secret of grandpa’s that he won’t speak of and keeps locked away from me. Getting a young child to understand what their ancestor faced will need to be preserved in books as the generation of survivors gets older. The Beit Theresienstadt Archives in Israel provided the photographs shared in the story, many were a wonderful addition.  At times I wondered if translating the story from its native Hebrew to English created a disconnect, some passages seemed to lose a clear voice. A clear voice in terms of age, sometimes I felt the passage was written for the target age and then sometimes I felt it was a little above.

Overall a sweet story that is likely as healing for a grandparent to read as a child trying to understand why some things might make their loved one distant.

Release date: May 1, 2014
Hardcover Edition: 978-0-8276-1204-4
Paperback Edition: 978-0827612211
32 pp.; 16 photographs

FTC disclosure: I received an unedited advanced reader copy of this book to review from University of Nebraska Press; Jewish Publication Society. I was not financially compensated by the publisher, Edelweiss or the author. (via Edelweiss)

Title: Grandpa’s Third Drawer
Author: Judy Tal Kopelman
Publisher: The Jewish Publication Society (2014)
Source: Personal Library (ARC)
Format Read: Advanced Reader PDF from publisher
Genres/Subjects: Fiction, Children’s, Picture Book, Historical Fiction, WWII, Holocaust


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