A special shield provides courage on the battlefield and in the doctor’s office.

JUDAH MACCABEE GOES TO THE DOCTOR

Hanukkah heroism helps a little boy face his fears about getting an inoculation.

Judah faces many challenges in his desire “to be the BEST big brother ever.” He tries to play with his baby sister, Hannah, and to help her eat her breakfast, but she isn’t satisfied. (She is a baby, after all.) Then as Hanukkah approaches, his bubbe tells him the story of Judah Maccabee, who had four brothers and who “protected them and kept the Jewish people safe, too.” The numerous, white members of Judah’s family gather to celebrate the holiday as the first of eight candles burns brightly in the window, and Judah receives a present: a shield decorated with the Maccabee name. On the last day of the holiday, it’s time for the titular visit to the doctor, a black woman. Hannah and Judah get a thorough checkup, and both are pronounced healthy. Then Judah learns that he will need a shot to help protect both him and his little sister from illness. With his shield in hand and a few tears, Judah gets his inoculation. Koffsky tackles two seemingly disparate subjects for a very young audience and their caregivers, combining Hanukkah themes of bravery with the importance of inoculations that can also protect those too young to receive shots. Colorful art with expressive faces fills the pages.

A special shield provides courage on the battlefield and in the doctor’s office. (author’s note) (Picture book/religion. 3-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-68115-522-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Apples & Honey Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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In the end too much is left unanswered, making this book pleasant but only passable

PIPPA'S PASSOVER PLATE

A mouse searches for and finally finds her missing Seder plate.

Pippa is an industrious house-cleaning mouse. And no wonder—Passover is starting this very evening. Dusting and sweeping finished, she turns her attention to setting the table as a pot of chicken stew bubbles away on the stovetop. But there is one very important object that is missing: the “special Seder plate.” Frantically, the mouse searches through boxes and cupboards and finally ventures into the yard. First she encounters a very large cat and asks if it has seen the plate. “No,” answers the cat and points her to a snake, who sends her to an owl, who directs her to Golda Fish, prettily swimming in the water. Success! Kirkfield’s little tale is written in rhyming couplets with much repetition of “QUIVER! QUAVER! SHIVER! SHAKE!” for emphasis with each interaction with a predator, so readers will be mightily puzzled when the formerly frightful critters join Pippa at the holiday table. Weber’s gouache, crayon, and collage illustrations are sweetly pretty. The final illustration features a Seder plate with transliterated Hebrew and an English translation of the components. Readers familiar with the holiday may find this mildly enjoyable, but others will likely want and need more information.

In the end too much is left unanswered, making this book pleasant but only passable . (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Feb. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-8234-4162-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Nov. 12, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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Though it will never usurp Dr. Seuss, it will still find a home where Christian families of faith seek inspirational picture...

WHEN I PRAY FOR YOU

Turner adds another title to his picture-book series that highlights the miracles in the mundane (When God Made Light, 2018, etc.).

In the vein of children’s-bookshelf stalwart Oh, the Places You’ll Go, Turner’s rhyming text includes both prayers and life advice for a growing child, beginning with infancy and moving on to adolescence. At times the rhyme and meter are strained, muddling meaning and making the tempo feel occasionally awkward when read aloud. Overall, though, the book executes its mission, presenting Christian theological truths within the rhythmic inspirational text. For this third series installment Turner’s text is paired with a new illustrator, whose bright illustrations of wide-eyed children have great shelf appeal. While David Catrow’s previous illustrations in the series featured effervescent black protagonists, the child in Barnes’ illustrations appears white, though she occupies an otherwise diverse world. While illustrated as a prayer from a mother for her daughter, the text itself is gender neutral.

Though it will never usurp Dr. Seuss, it will still find a home where Christian families of faith seek inspirational picture books. (Picture book/religion. 3-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 19, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-52565058-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: WaterBrook

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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