Author: Cathy Goldberg Fishman
Illustrated by: Melanie W. Hall
Hardcover: 24 page(s)
Age Range: 4 to 9
A traditional family celebrates Sukkot and Simchat Torah. Rich history and insightful holiday rituals and customs are interwoven through this story as each family member takes part in the celebration.
From The Critics:
The holidays on the Jewish calendar that follow the High Holy Days are Sukkot, a harvest festival, then Simchat Torah, when the reading of the Torah is completed and begins again. Although not as well known as some, these are important Jewish holidays, and this very attractive book does them justice. "Who wants to help?" the book begins, and readers watch a family get ready for the Sukkot by building a small shelter, a sukkah, where parents and children will eat, even sleep. In evocative prose, Fishman not only explains the holiday but also captures the joyous mood that infuses it, linking the day with the traditions of yesteryear. She also captures the celebratory feel of Simchat Torah, complete with the marching and singing that take place as the Torah is carried around the synagogue. The lively text is matched by Hall's stirring artwork, in shades of blue, green, gold, and orange, which is ethereal yet full of sweet, everyday detail. Those looking for a special book on these holidays will be inspired.
School Library Journal
A proud girl relates the busy goings-on around her house in preparation for two Jewish holidays that occur in the fall. More an explanation of the observances than a story, the book would be most useful in (non-Orthodox) Jewish schools or with children interested in learning about various religious and family rituals. The text is well written, and the general warmth of the family gatherings and pride of faith show through. Most touching is the scene of the narrator imagining her biblical ancestors sitting beside her in the outdoor sukkah as she eats at the table in the "cool night breeze." The lovely, muted pastel illustrations are an excellent accompaniment to the lyrical text. There is a scarcity of children's books dealing with these two celebrations, so it is a pleasure to see such a fine one.