JPS Illustrated Children’s Bible

  • Ellen Frankel, PhD (author)
  • Avi Katz (illustrator)
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About the Book

Ages 5 and up.

Jewish Bible stories retold as never before!

Acclaimed storyteller and Jewish scholar Ellen Frankel has masterfully tailored fifty-three Bible stories that will both delight and educate today’s young readers. Using the 1985 JPS translation (NJPS) of the Hebrew Bible as her foundation, Frankel retains much of the Bible’s original wording and simple narrative style as she incorporates her own exceptional storytelling technique, free of personal interpretation or commentary. Included in the volume is an; “Author’s Notebook”; in which Frankel shares with rabbis, parents, and educators the challenges she faced in translating and adapting these stories for children, such as how she deals with adult language in the original Bible text and themes inappropriate for most young readers. With enticing, full-page color illustrations of each Bible story, award-winning artist Avi Katz ignites readers’ imaginations. His brush captures the vivid personalities and many dramatic moments in this extraordinary collection.

Avi Katz and JPS are grateful to TaL AM for granting permission to reprint three illustrations from the TaL AM Tora Breshit Notebook series.


2009 National Jewish Book Award Winner, Illustrated Children’s Books
2009 National Jewish Book Award Finalist, Jewish Family Literature
2010 Sydney Taylor Book Award, Notable Book for Readers of All Ages


An enchanting, beautiful book . . . [that is] sure to draw in young people while providing them with an accurate and dynamic understanding of the Bible. And Avi Katz’s illustrations just entice and pull in the reader again and again.

—Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, author of A Code of Jewish EthicsJewish Literacy, and many other books

Ellen Frankel’s retelling of biblical stories is clearly a labor of love. . . . [She] has created a work that dazzles as it teaches.

—Hadassah Magazine

[The JPS Illustrated Children’s Bible] will seed many children’s memories and nourish their senses of wonder, curiosity, and history . . . This volume is a treasure for the generations!

—Peninnah Schram, professor of speech and drama at Yeshiva University’s Stern College and Azrieli Graduate School, storyteller, recording artist, and author

Ellen Frankel has succeeded in restoring the story to the most famous book of stories . . . Here, at last, the voice of storyteller rises up from the page and draws us into the mystery and beauty of the core stories of Jewish tradition . . . luminous illustrations by Avi Katz . . . bring these stories to life.

—Howard Schwartz, author of Leaves from the Garden of Eden: One Hundred Classic Jewish Tales and Tree of Souls: The Mythology of Judaism, 2005 winner of the National Jewish Book Award

Ellen Frankel, PhD

Ellen Frankel is the former CEO and editor-in-chief of The Jewish Publication Society. A scholar of Jewish midrash and folklore, Frankel has published a number of books, including the forthcoming JPS Illustrated Children’s BibleThe Classic Tales: 4000 Years of Jewish LoreThe Encyclopedia of Jewish Symbols;The Five Books of Miriam: A Woman’s Commentary on the TorahThe Jewish Spirit; and The Illustrated Hebrew Bible. Frankel travels widely as a storyteller and lecturer.

Avi Katz

Avi Katz was born in Philadelphia and moved to Israel at age 20, where he graduated from the Bezalel Art Academy. He has been the illustrator of the Jerusalem Report since its first issue in 1990, and is active in the Cartooning for Peace program. He has illustrated over 150 books in Israel and the U.S. and has received the IBBY Hans Christian Andersen Honors (four times) and Israel’s Ze’ev Prize (eight times).

Book Reviews

Read author's article in the JTA, Why the 'Binding of Isaac' Belongs in a Jewish Children's Bible.

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