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)