Amphibian neighbors come to Minnie’s rescue when she accidentally spills all the matzo-ball soup she has prepared for Shabbat dinner and doesn’t have time to prepare more before sundown.
Sol Frog, Mel Frog, Gilda Frog, Golda Frog, Dinah Frog and Barney Frog reside in a pond by Minnie’s house, and like the elves in the classic Grimms’ fairy tale “The Elves and the Shoemaker,” they decide to help the kindhearted woman while she is out helping a bedridden friend. With much fervor, jumping around and catapulting of ingredients into the soup pot, a fresh and tasty soup is prepared and ready when Minnie returns—a welcome surprise for her and her Shabbat guests. The lush greens of the anthropomorphic, bulging-eyed cartoon-style frogs dominate the palette and create a rollicking atmosphere for this celebration of the performance of mitzvoth. Kindness begets kindness, and “one mitzvah leads to another” as Jewish neighbors help one another in various ways. The story’s amusing arc with its altruistic message culminates with a sculpted matzo-ball frog left as a floating clue in the soup, prompting one more mitzvah in grateful acknowledgment.
A Jewish audience will appreciate the overall significance of the concept and context; Gentiles will get a kick out of the kind frogs. (Picture book. 4-6)