What do the Gazelles Do?
Written by: Lea Goldberg
Illustrated by: Merav Salomon
"Sparrows / Read books, / Each with their own beak. / For / As the adults say: / Sparrows also want to read"
[Foreword to the Sparrows Series edited by Lea Goldberg]
That is how Lea Goldberg chose to address her young readers at the beginning of every children's book in the Ankorim (Sparrows) series she had edited. Lea Goldberg [1911–1970] was an accomplished writer, poet and translator, who also wrote children's literature. What do the Gazelles Do? is her first poetry book for children. It was first published in 1949, and has since accompanied generations of Israeli children with words and melodies. Lea Goldberg beckons her young readers to open the gates to fine literature, become familiar with writing styles and a range of contents, and thereby broaden their horizons and indulge in book reading. This book is now offered to young readers in the hope that the magic of Lea Goldberg's writing will open up a gate in their hearts too.
Reading together, experiencing together
Reading poetry books
What do the gazelles do at night? And how does one go about reading a poetry book? Lea Goldberg's book is filled to the brim with poems, and each of them is a small world unto itself. You could leaf through them, pick one by its illustration, prior acquaintance or personal preference, or even, an eye-catching title. You may enjoy reading it together, and then discussing it: Did you like the poem? What about it did you like? We recommend returning to favorite poems from time to time, and enjoying these works together.
Some of the poems in this book have been put to music. You could find them on the various media channels and listen to their song rendition. You could also sing them together, play actual or makeshift musical instruments as you do, and accompany the song and music with a dance or simple suitable hand gestures. How about trying to sing one of your favorite poems to a much-loved tune?
Painting in three colors
The illustrations in this book were made by five different illustrators, whose names are listed on the final page of this book. You may want to leaf through the pages and look for the illustrations while attempting to guess what each illustration adds to or emphasizes in the poem. All the illustrations in this book have been colored green, white and pink. You could also try painting in two colors on a white sheet of paper, and create a shared drawing in two colors. How about mixing them together, creating squares and lines, and being inspired by the illustrations in the book?
A poem and a photo
A puddle? Light and shade? Perhaps a moon and bird? You may enjoy using a camera to take photographs inspired by the poems in this book. You can then print the photos out and add them to the book, or hold a family exhibition by sending photos and poems to your extended family.