Autumnal signs of leaves changing, squirrels foraging and hiding acorns, and cool breezes blowing announce another Jewish fall tradition: the harvest holiday of Sukkot.
Pleasant child-friendly paintings of autumn scenes in hues of orange, yellow, and brown illustrate the simple rhyming text with its repeated, anticipatory refrain “When leaves are all turning bright orange and red // and it’s time for the rakes to come out of our shed… / Sukkot is on its way.” As in the previous books in the series, Is It Passover Yet? and Is it Hanukkah Yet? (both 2015), Barash and Psacharopulo create the proper seasonal atmosphere to build enthusiasm and excitement for the upcoming celebration, focusing on the annual construction of the customary hut, or sukkah. Key aspects of the sukkah’s decorations and its special components, such as the natural, green branches for the open roof, the lemony-smelling etrog fruit, and the lulav branch, are mentioned without much explanation. The custom of having meals in the hut is not fully portrayed, though readers see the children sleeping on pillows and blankets in the sukkah while parents look on from the house—an odd choice. The focal family is pale-skinned, and they are joined by dark-skinned friends or family.
A suitable introduction for young children to the holiday. (Picture book. 3-5)