The year’s range of Jewish holidays and celebrations are presented in this repeating, rhyming chant that features key succinct elements for each.
“Here are your parents, with arms open wide. / Here are your siblings, to stand by your side.” Beginning in early fall, Newman carefully chooses a new baby girl’s naming ceremony, not usually represented in other literature, followed by a Shabbat candle lighting, dinner and visit to the synagogue. She then launches into the high holy days of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot and Simhat Torah. Winter leads with Hanukkah, followed by Tu B’Shevat and Purim before the traditional spring celebrations of Passover and Shavuot. An early summer Shabbat picnic brings the year full circle. Bookending this annual list with Shabbat observances reflects the significance the Sabbath holds in Judaism. Gal’s illustrations provide a visual narrative, ending with a first birthday party for the baby named at the outset; the story culminates with her family marveling at the “ever-changing world” and wonder of their child. Charcoal drawings enhanced with digital collage create textured, festive scenes for each of the ceremonial traditions. Backmatter explanations fill out the basics (including the bris, or boys’ welcome ceremony) with a specific craft or activity for each holiday.
Both lovely and eminently useful. (Picture book/religion. 3-6)