A Mitz­va for Zelda

Susan Wig­den; Iosi Salem, illus.
  • Review
By – January 16, 2012
The old punch line some Jews have heard goes like this, Am I my brother’s kip­pa?” As far as Zel­da Zebra­man is con­cerned, this is true. As we are intro­duced to her on the first page, we find that, Zel­da Zim­mer­man was a mentch indeed — For she knit­ted kip­pas for those in need.” Lessons in how to treat oth­ers fol­low with a fair­ly con­sis­tent rhyming for­mat, while col­or­ful and humor­ous car­toon illus­tra­tions add to the fun. Each man who comes to Zel­da has an unusu­al­ly shaped head, but Zel­da is always able to hand-knit the right sized kip­pa, and they all go home pleased with their gift. But Zel­da grows old­er and can no longer knit for those in need. But her friends all remem­bered her very good deeds.” Even­tu­al­ly Zel­da is reward­ed for her mitz­vah of knit­ting kip­pot by those she has helped in the past. This book is meant for the pre-school age child and is a help­ful intro­duc­tion for them to learn the impor­tance of per­form­ing good deeds. It is geared toward more tra­di­tion­al Jew­ish audi­ences since there are no women in the sto­ry that wear kip­pot. Libraries may have con­cerns about the book since it is pub­lished in paper­back, but gen­er­al­ly, a child should enjoy the sheer silli­ness of the story.
Ben Patscam is a librar­i­an at the Shalom School in Sacra­men­to, CA. He hopes one day­to meet his besh­ert and that she fits into his life as well as the kip­pot Zel­da makes in the­book he reviewed

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