Many families from Micah’s synagogue are picking pumpkins for a soup kitchen.
Micah asks his mother, “What’s a soup kitchen?” She explains, and his dad adds the definition of tikkun olam, the Jewish concept of doing good deeds, or “repairing the world.” As a reward for their good work, each child will receive a pumpkin. Micah wants to find a large one for Sukkot, the Jewish harvest festival. After picking pumpkins all day, he finally gets ready to choose, but when he finds a gigantic one, he remembers the soup kitchen. Farmer Jared gently tells him that the big pumpkins are not good for cooking but can be used to make “a wonderful decoration.” The boy finds “a perfect little pumpkin” and dreams of his Sukkot meal but realizes that his family has enough food and other people need the perfect pumpkin more than he does. He adds it to the donations and accidentally steps on a rotten pumpkin. As the farmer explains that this pumpkin will serve as compost, Micah discovers the best pumpkin of all—the seeds to grow his own—“for next year.” Micah and his family are white, but there are Asian and black synagogue members. There are few details about the celebration, but the colorful paintings are humorous and show the sukkah with its harvest decorations.
A simple Sukkot story that focuses on the concept of helping those in need. (afterword, activities) (Picture book. 4-7)