Once again, Talia (Talia and the Rude Vegetables, 2011) misunderstands her grandmother, this time for the Yom Kippur holiday “break-fast” meal.
At her grandmother’s farm, Talia is excited to help with the preparation of tomorrow’s “YUM Kippur breakfast” by gathering the ingredients for a noodle kugel that will accompany a spread of cookies, cakes, tuna salad, and blintzes. But the next morning, Talia is served the usual cereal and fruit, while everyone else abjures breakfast altogether and leaves for the synagogue. A bit confused, Talia ponders over her grandmother’s explanation: it is Yom (meaning day) Kippur, a day of remorse and reflection, not YUM (delicious) Kippur, and in the late afternoon, the family will enjoy a big meal that breaks the daylong fast. Marshall adeptly exploits the nuance of language and its use in context to introduce the significance of the holiday’s atonement through prayer and fast in a simple way for young children. The long, slow—the opposite of fast!—day alone with Grandma gives Talia the opportunity to think about her own shortcomings and to apologize. The folk-style illustrations in deep tones evoke this sweet and endearing little girl’s day with her loving elder.
Both a loving family story and a deft introduction to the significance of the holiday. (Picture book/religion. 3-5)