The Indiana Jewish Post and Opinion, February 1 2006
By Sybil Kaplan
The Dolls'Journey to Eretz-Israel
By Abraham Regelson.
Translated by Sharona Tel-Oren
It isn't often that one gets the opportunity to read a Hebrew children's classic, translated into English. Abraham Regelson was a renowned Hebrew poet whose family emigrated to the U.S. from Russia. When he grew up and married, he lived in Cleveland.
In 1933, he and his family decided to immigrate to Israel, but the doll collection of his three-year -old daughter, Sharona, was left behind with a friend. They so wanted to be with their "mommy", they were finally reunited, and the excitement of their reunion with Sharona motivated Regelson to write a book.
According to an article by Abraham Regelson (1896-1981), "it is a captivating story of a doll family's journey by land, sea and air, on their way from America to reunite with their 'mother', Sharona in Tel-Aviv." More than that, one gets a picture of the author's real adventures, adjustment and feelings when living in pre-state Israel.
Regelson worked for the Hebrew newspaper, Davar, and co-founded the paper's children's supplement, here this work was published in installments and became a classic. Subsequently, it was published in book form.
After three years, Regelson and his family returned to New York where they lived until 1949 and where Sharona and her sisters and brothers grew up. Finally, in1949, the Regelson family returned to Israel, and the father worked on the staff of another daily newspaper and as an editor of a publishing house.
Shoshana, Shulamit, Esther, Leah, Ruth, Riveleh, Bitya, Pop-eye and Thingumbob were Hebrew-speaking dolls, and although their new mommy did her best to make them happy, nothing would console them until it was decided that they should join Sharona. Their adventures going to New York and then on to Israel by ship and ultimately their arrival are all told here.
Children and adults will enjoy reading the story and learning what parts were based on real incidents in the epilogue.
Illustrations by noted Israeli artist Nahum Gutman and other artists are included.
Sybil Kaplan is a book reviewer,journalist,lecturer,teacher,
synagogue librarian and synagogue public relations/publicity specialist, food columnist, and cookbook author from Overland Park, Ks.