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Author Haya Shenhav was born in 1936 in the village of Kfar Yehoshua, in the Jezreel Valley of northern Israel. Her parents, Frieda and Shmuel Dagan, were immigrant farmers from Germany and Poland respectively. After graduating from high school in nearby Kiryat Amal-Tivon, Shenhav studied Geology and Hebrew Literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, before working in petroleum research at the Geological Institution in the same city. An author of stories and poems for both children and adults, her books have won many awards. In 2004, she was awarded the Bialik Prize for Literature, acknowledgment of a lifetime’s work in children's literature. Haya Shenhav lives in Jerusalem.
Illustrator Yirmi Pinkus is a novelist [see his novels in the C&S adult publications catalogue], comic book artist, and interdisciplinary creator, widely acclaimed as one of the leading illustrators in Israel. In 2014, he was awarded the Israel Museum Prize for his illustrations of children's books. His books have been published by Grasset (France), Avant Verlag (Germany), Fantagraphics (USA), and other publishing houses around the world. Pinkus is Professor of Illustration and Visual Storytelling at Tel Aviv’s Shenkar College of Design.
One Hundred Rooms
Publisher: Magnes Press
Year: 2022 (September)
Translation rights: World except Arabic
Audio visual rights: World
Translation: Complete English translation by Gilah Kahn;
Spanish and Portuguese available
Rights sold: English language North American rights: Kalaniot, USA
The protagonist orders builders to build for him a house with one hundred rooms. He arranges his many belongings in ninety-nine of them: one room for chairs, one for books, one for plates, and so on. Only the last room is kept empty. The man is hungry: but to eat, he must take a fork from one room, food from another, and fetch a table from a third. He tries to fall asleep in the room with the beds; but it is a bright moonlit night and the curtains are in another room… Next morning, hunting for the room with the clean clothes, he accidentally enters a room with a single mirror. Confronted by his sad and exhausted face, he realizes that his new house is much too big for him. He goes from room to room, gathering only what he really needs, moves into the empty room, and then sells the rest. Freed from his burden and finally happy, our hero goes to the park to spend time with his new neighbors.
This amusing story conveys an important moral lesson to children—and perhaps to adults too— at a time when mankind must deal with the ecological consequences of consumer culture and an age of abundance. The protagonist and his dilemma captivate the reader. One Hundred Rooms, selected as a prescribed text by Israel’s Ministry of Education in 2021, was printed in its Hebrew paperback edition with a print run of 120,000 copies.
A new book by Haya Shenhav, who has created … original and wonderful books for toddlers, is always happy news.
This real-estate fairy tale could not have a better illustrator than Pinkus, who brings it to life with a stunningly colorful, multilayered, and infinitely brilliant world.
In the wise and wonderful inventiveness of 100 Rooms, the house becomes a mirror for the malady of extreme self-absorption.
Recommended for both children and adults.
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