A Mezuzah on the Door

Amy Meltzer; Jan­ice Fried, illus.
  • Review
By – December 16, 2011
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.

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.

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