The City of Light by Theodore Bikel, Aimee Ginsburg Bikel
Illustrator: Noah Phillips
This charming book, based on a short story by legendary actor, singer and social justice activist, Theodore Bikel, tells the story of a young boy (Bikel) and his childhood in the City of Light (Vienna). His was a beautiful childhood, in the wonderous City of Light, surrounded by the love of his family. But soon, the dark clouds of Anti-Semitism grew, and the city was occupied by the army from across the border. Those who were once friendly neighbors and classmates become dangerous enemies, wishing him great harm for no reason other than he is a Jewish. The Boy dreams that his hero, Judah Maccabi, enters the city to save the Jews, but when he awakes, it had only been a dream. The Boy and his family must flee, leaving the home that they loved forever. Many years later, The Boy, now an Old Man, returns to The City and finds that the light has always been inside his own heart.
This special book, co-authored by Aimee Ginsburg Bikel and illustrated by Noah Phillips, also includes a three-page Yiddish word glossary, a recipe for Honey Cake from Bikel’s Grandmother, and sheet music of a little known Hanukkah song, “Little Candle Fires”; with a link to websites where you can hear Theo singing this song. A wonderful and inspiring story for readers ages 9 and up, THEODORE BIKEL’S ‘THE CITY OF LIGHT’ will make a great gift this holiday season.
Year first published: 2019