Almost a decade ago, Ursula Dubosarsky won great acclaim for The First Book of Samuel. Now the story continues, Samuel and Theodora's grandfather Elias is dying, and Theodora begins to see a black cat that could not possibly be real.
Belshazzar's Feast, mentioned in the dedication. Elkanah's vision at dinner and some of the plot of the novel are based on this story. Biblical reference - Daniel 5: click here.
Rembrandt's painting of the Feast: click here.
World War Two, the Holocaust and Nuremberg laws - the law against Jews keeping pets: click here.
Symbolism of the pomegranate across cultures: click here.
Get a pomegranate and cut it open and count the seeds inside, as Theodora does. You can relate it to the traditions surrounding the Jewish festival of the New Year Rosh HaShana, which occurs in September/October: click here.
Read/write/illustrate/perform the Greek myth of Persephone
and the pomegranate: click here.
September 11 2001 Twin Towers attack in New York, as Theodora sees on the television in the cafe with Rhody: click here.
Make Pink Shirleys (also known as Shirley Temples) from grenadine (non-alcoholic pomegranate syrup) and lemonade, like the one Rhody buys for Theodora in the cafe: click here.
Knit a scarf like Theodora does, using lots of different colours. Here's a how-to-knit-a-scarf website for beginners: click here.
Brett Whitely painting of village where Theodora and Samuel go to stay with Pearl: click here.
I recommend the book to everyone in this chamber. It is an excellent read and is very amusing, but also poignant and touching at the same time. Hansard, Parliament of Victoria Read more...
A thoughtful and poetic account of family life. The Sydney Morning Herald Read more...
Subtly backgrounded by the events of 9/11, gently haunted by Elias's Holocaust memories and informed by the children's Jewish education, Theodora's Gift talks of death and destiny... The Adelaide Advertiser Read more...
A beautiful book for its quietness, for the elegiac stillness which harmonises perfectly with its emotional clarity. The Canberra Times Read more...