A welcoming introduction to an often overlooked minor holiday.

READ REVIEW

SADIE'S LAG BA'OMER MYSTERY

From the Sadie and Ori series

One full moon in spring heralds a Jewish holiday that is not familiar to the savvy Sadie but has its own reason for celebration.

At school, Sadie learned that Jewish holidays often begin with a full moon. What spring holiday is forthcoming after Purim and Passover? Curious, Sadie reads the calendar and learns it is something called Lag Ba’Omer. What’s that all about? She explores the house with her little sister and finds only items related to Rosh Hashanah, Simhat Torah, Hanukkah, Passover and Shabbat. Stumped, she begins to question everyone, including family members and the parcel delivery man (who must know all about holidays). Her grandfather finally tells her that this new holiday is not about presents, might involve picnics, songs and campfires, and of course includes delicious food. She’s still mystified, so he tells a story about an ancient rabbi who was forbidden by the Romans to teach and study Torah and so did it secretly in a cave. Lag Ba’Omer is a day dedicated to his steadfast bravery. It is remembered with picnics, bonfires, singing and storytelling and usually celebrated between the holidays of Passover and Shavuot. The evenly told story is laced with mild suspense. It is coupled with cheery illustrations that include carefully placed details that indicate the centrality of faith to this suburban family.

A welcoming introduction to an often overlooked minor holiday. (author’s note) (Picture book/religion. 3-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-7613-9047-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kar-Ben

Review Posted Online: Jan. 29, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2014

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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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Sweet, but like marshmallow chicks, just a bit of fluff.

THE LITTLEST EASTER BUNNY

From the Littlest series

The smallest bunny in Easter Town finds that she and her little chick friend are big enough to help the Easter Bunny prepare for the annual Easter egg hunt.

In the fifth entry in the Littlest series, Penny the bunny wants to help get ready for Easter. All the rabbits in her family are busy with their special jobs, getting eggs, candy, and baskets in order, but little Penny seems too small or clumsy to be of any help. Her parents and siblings try to let her assist them, but she falls into a vat of dye, spills marshmallow goo, gets tangled in the strands of a basket, and fails to fill even one Easter basket. Feeling dejected, Penny befriends a tiny chick named Peck. With the help of Penny’s family, Penny and Peck make miniature treats and petite baskets suitable to their own size. When the Easter Bunny’s main helpers fall ill, Penny and Peck convince the Easter Bunny that their small size will help them do the best job of finding spots to hide eggs as well as their own tiny basket creations. This too-pat conclusion doesn’t quite hold up to logical analysis, as the full-size eggs and baskets are still too large for Penny and Peck to handle. Bland cartoon illustrations are filled with bunnies in candy-bright pastels with a greeting-card cuteness quotient.

Sweet, but like marshmallow chicks, just a bit of fluff. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-338-32912-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

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