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ENGINEER ARI AND THE SUKKAH EXPRESS by Deborah Bodin Cohen

ENGINEER ARI AND THE SUKKAH EXPRESS

By Deborah Bodin Cohen (Author) , Shahar Kober (Illustrator)

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-7613-5126-9
Publisher: Kar-Ben

Engineer Ari, the first conductor of the new train from Jaffa to Jerusalem, builds a Sukkah with friends Nathaniel and Jesse using wood left over from laying the new tracks. With help from new friends Hadas, Aravah and Tamar, who live along the Jerusalem route, Ari completes the Sukkah by gathering branches and grapevines for decoration as well as the necessary lulav and etrog to symbolize God’s presence. After a first Sukkot evening meal, Ari laments not sharing his Sukkah with all his new friends, and the next morning he is surprised by Nathaniel and Jesse’s solution--to turn one of the train cars into the Sukkah Express. Simple, clean-lined art in gouache and marker establish a late-19th-century Israeli farming community, whose men sport mustached faces and fez-covered heads in the shadow of a bright, shiny-red locomotive. The easy, flowing text with patterned repetitive phrases--“chug-a-lugged” and “todah rabah” (thank you)--creates a smooth, predictable narrative for this Jewish autumn holiday story and its historical setting. An author's note provides background on the original Jerusalem-to-Jaffa line. (glossary) (Picture book/religion. 3-6)