Rachel Kamin has been a synagogue librarian and Jewish educator for over twenty-five years and has worked at North Suburban Synagogue Beth El in Highland Park, IL since 2008, currently serving as the Director of Lifelong Learning. A past chair of the Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee and past editor of Book Reviews for Children & Teens for the Association of Jewish Libraries News & Reviews, her articles and book reviews appear in numerous publications. She has been a member of the American Library Association’s Sophie Brody Book Award Committee since 2021.
A Mezuzah on the Door
Noah has difficulties adjusting to his new house in the suburbs. He misses the sounds of his neighbors from his old apartment in the city — the “clank and clunk” of Mrs. Feldman washing dishes, Mr. Gollis’s loud sneezes, and Maya practicing her violin. His family hosts a Hanukkat Habayit with all of their family, friends and old neighbors, dedicating their new home as a Jewish home and hanging mezuzot on their doors. As Noah lies in his bed that night, the new mezuzah on the door of his room reminds him of all of his friends and family who touched and kissed it earlier, and he doesn’t feel so lonely anymore. Amy Meltzer smoothly integrates explanations of the Hanukkat Habayit and the customs of the mezuzah into the text, which is well placed within Janice Fried’s artwork. The characters appear rather stiff but the soft watercolor, colored pencil, collage, and pen and ink illustrations beautifully complement and enhance the story, which touches on subjects not yet tackled in Jewish children’s literature. For ages 4 – 8.
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