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Jewish Picture Books: From Passover to Shrek




Illustration for “‘I will run away,’ thought Jonah, ‘to where God cannot find me,’” by Mordicai Gerstein, from Mordicai Gerstein, Jonah and the Two Great Fish (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 1997). Courtesy of The Richard Michelson Galleries
Illustration for “‘I will run away,’ thought Jonah, ‘to where God cannot find me,’” by Mordicai Gerstein, from Mordicai Gerstein, Jonah and the Two Great Fish (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 1997). Courtesy of The Richard Michelson Galleries
by Mordicai Gerstein

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Jewish picture books have a long history, dating all the way back to the late 15th century. That was when the first major illustrated religious text—the Prague Haggadah—was published. Before that, illustrations in Judaism were looked down upon. It's come a long way since then, including books like Where The Wild Things are and Curious George. A collection of those works are on display at the Skirball Cultural Center through August. The exhibit is called "Monsters and Miracles: A Journey through Jewish Picture Books," and Rachel Abrams talked with museum director Robert Kirschner to learn more about the medium's history.