Starting the Jewish New Year in a new city without friends or extended relatives is tough for Harry and his family, until the generous welcome by their new community known as the mitzvah of hachnasat orchim makes a significant difference.
Not yet unpacked and with no plans for Rosh Hashana, the family remembers that their old neighbors, the Kaplans, only two hours away, invited them. The transplanted family piles into the car for the trip, but before the ride even begins, unexpected events lead to delays and alter their plans. Baby’s diaper needs changing, then Mom locks herself out of the house. Dad comes with keys, but one flat tire and tow-truck rescue later, it is too late to travel, and the family returns to their moving boxes and thoroughly un–holiday-ready new home. “What a way to start a new year!” Through the disappointment, Dad works on a new plan: to join his officemate at Temple Shalom for the evening service, which leads to a family dinner invitation and an opportunity to meet and make new friends. “What a WONDERFUL way to start a new year!” It's a situation many contemporary families can relate to, and Stead's bright, multimedia illustrations track the emotional arc.
A useful addition to the Rosh Hashana shelf. (author's note) (Picture book. 4-7)