Warm, real­is­tic illus­tra­tions drawn by the author, pre­sent­ed in a care­ful­ly lim­it­ed palette evoca­tive of Israel, accom­pa­ny the text in per­fect tandem.

Adven­ture Girl: Dabi Digs in Israel

by Jan­ice Hechter

Review the Jewish Book Council at https://www.jewishbookcouncil.org/book/adventure-girl-dabi-digs-in-israel

By Ellen G. Cole – July 8, 2021

Dabi’s par­ents see her as a tomboy. They want her to be a lit­tle lady, par­tic­u­lar­ly now, when vis­it­ing grand­par­ents in Israel. But Gaby enjoys dig­ging in the dirt; she sees her­self as an adven­ture girl con­fronting slime, bugs, and worms. Because she is vis­it­ing Israel, a per­fect place for dig­ging in the dirt, Dabi becomes known as a hero, even as she con­tin­ues to see her­self as an ​“adven­ture girl”.

Kin­dred spir­it Aunt Gili takes Dabi to a spe­cial place in Israel called the Beit Guvrin Nation­al Park. which is a UNESCO World Her­itage Site. Here, you dig to find Israel’s many world-famous arche­o­log­i­cal trea­sures. Dabi is hap­py to dig in the dirt for the day; she does not expect to uncov­er any objects, but she does! She is star­tled to real­ize that the ring she finds is 3500 years old. Dabi becomes a hero for uncov­er­ing this ancient arti­fact. The ring will help reveal how peo­ple lived long ago. She receives a spe­cial certificate.;her par­ents are pleased, her aunt is proud, and Dabi is thrilled to be true to her­self. She shines as a mod­el to young girls to fol­low their cho­sen paths.

Warm, real­is­tic illus­tra­tions drawn by the author, pre­sent­ed in a care­ful­ly lim­it­ed palette evoca­tive of Israel, accom­pa­ny the text in per­fect tandem.

. . . my daughter even asked if Dabi was a real girl she could play with . . .

My almost 4-year-old is full of spirit. She has almost unlimited energy and loves to test the limits. She is curious, sometimes mischievous, and always up for an adventure… and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

So when I was sent a copy of Adventure Girl: Dabi Digs in Israel, I knew it would be a hit in our home. The book is written and beautifully illustrated by award-winning illustrator and fine artist, Janice Hechter, and this is her first book as both author and illustrator.

The story is about a young girl named Dabi who is visiting her grandparents in Israel. Dabi’s parents continue to insist that she dress and act like a “little lady,” but her adventurous spirit wants to explore and get her hands dirty. Dabi is thrilled to find a kindred spirit in her aunt Gili, who takes her on a surprise adventure to explore a special park to “dig up history.”

Dabi and her aunt have the chance to look for treasures from long ago at the Beit Guvrin National Park with a real archaeologist, and Dabi is in heaven as she is able to climb through caves and dig in the dirt. She even finds an ancient artifact that she is rewarded for discovering with a special certificate from the dig site.

Finding books like this, where gender roles and expectations are pushed, always make me happy as a parent. While my daughter enjoys princess stories just like many other little girls, books where I can show her other sides of what “being a girl” can look like are always welcome in our library.

The pictures in the book are so full of detail that they almost look like a photograph, and my daughter even asked if Dabi was a real girl she could play with! While I sadly told her that she couldn’t actually play with Dabi, she was excited to learn that the site that Dabi explored is a real place in Israel, and she made us promise to take her there on our next trip so that she could also be an adventure girl like Dabi.

Jennifer Starrett – https://www.jewphx.com/blog/book-review-adventure-girl