The very busy spider who has celebrated many Jewish holidays now adds a festive ceremony to his catalog of experiences.
The little eight-legged one watches as Mr. Shapiro and his family build a chuppah, or Jewish wedding canopy, under which the bride and groom exchange their vows. Sammy gets closer and closer to it, thinking that it is quite “beautiful.” The Shapiros leave for the wedding carrying the chuppah, flowers, a small wrapped package, and Sammy. In a mix of religious traditions and modern touches, two men and two women hold the four pillars of the canopy while a rabbi wearing a tallit (prayer shawl) performs the ceremony. The bride walks around the groom seven times, they sip from a wine cup, and Sammy, ever curious, notices the package which contains a wineglass and happily crawls inside. “Weddings are fun!” he thinks, but this is not a good idea at a Jewish wedding ceremony, which concludes with the groom stomping on the wineglass—wrapped in a napkin for safety. Can Sammy save himself? Yes he can, in time to watch the guests, men and women together, “dancing the Hora.” Young readers not yet familiar with Jewish wedding customs will learn about a happy ritual, although there is no mention of the ketubah, or wedding contract. Kahn’s collage illustrations fill the pages with pretty pastel colors against a white background and depict the humans with uniformly pink skin.
Sammy’s adventure offers a good overview of a joyous occasion. (Picture book. 3-6)