Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Cool map featured on endpapers of "At Camp Kee Tov"

This is (most of) the illustrated map that adorns the endpapers of At Camp Kee Tov, a book subtitled "Ethics for Jewish Juniors" that was first published in 1961. The book was written by Helen Fine and illustrated by Seymour Fleishman.

Locations on the map, which is full of wonderful detail, include the Boys' Village, the Boys' Recreation Hall, the Girls' Village, the Girls' Recreation Hall, the Outdoor Theater, the Dining Hall, the Infirmary, the Indoor Chapel, the Universal Lawn, the Big House and — my favorite — the Thinking Place.

The chapter titles include "The Tree of Life," "A Disappointment for Steven," "Sara's Ghost," "A Moonlight Hike," "S'Goolo Says Thanks," "Operation Space Hat," and "Who Is the Bravest Hero?"

There are only a few online reviews for this book, but they all involve praise and fond memories. Here are some excerpts...

  • An Amazon.com reviewer wrote (in 2011): "I read this book when I was a kid, really liked it, but had forgotten the title later in life. In my memory of childhood it grew in impact as being a somewhat special and magical book, but I could not remember specific details, just the sense of it being wonderful with a sense of adventure. When I rediscovered the title, ordered and read it, I found that it was quite enjoyable reading as an adult as well. It was written in 1961, and reflects some of the understanding of that age less jaded than the culture surrounding children today. The book relates the experience at a Jewish childrens summer camp of a brother and sister. Each chapter finds their fellow campers having normal issues of behavioral conflict, which usually gets resolved by the wisdom of the staff members using stories, examples or insight from the Torah or Talmud."
  • Goodreads reviewer Zoe wrote (in 2014): "I salvaged this book from a synagogue book sale a few years ago in Portland. It is a beautiful hardcover 1970 edition of this 1961 book. We read it aloud to the kids at bedtime and while we all got many laughs out of the now-antiquated figures of speech; obsession with rockets and moon men; and gender stratification, we also came to really appreciate and enjoy the chance to discuss ethical dilemmas that face kids in everyday life."
  • Goodreads reviewer Rachael wrote (in 2009): "This is one of my most beloved books of my childhood. Aside from being a wonderful author, Helen Fine was also my beloved 5th and 6th grade teacher. She taught me the true meaning of the word 'empathy', which I have in turn tried to lovingly pass on to my daughter. The book is about a set of twins and their first summer at overnight camp. It is text book about ethics, but each chapter tells a wonderful story from which a lesson is gleaned."

Related posts (endpapers illustrations)

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