A Water­mel­on in the Sukkah

Sylvia A. Rouss & Shan­nan Rouss; Ann Iosa, illus.
  • Review
By – February 14, 2014

When Miss Sharon asks her stu­dents to bring their favorite fruits to help deco­rate the school sukkah, most children’s con­tributions are small, light, and easy to hang. Michael’s water­mel­on, how­ev­er, presents an inter­est­ing prob­lem. The class tries a vari­ety of cre­ative solu­tions to hang it in the sukkah, but none is suc­cess­ful. The play­ground swings give Michael an idea — and it works!

This unusu­al Sukkot sto­ry art­ful­ly blends facts about the hol­i­day (more detail is pro­vid­ed in an after­word) with its depic­tion of the class work­ing col­lab­o­ra­tive­ly to find a way to hang the water­mel­on. Their efforts — and the solu­tion — present a unique intro­duc­tion to engi­neer­ing for young read­ers. Ann Iosa’s illus­tra­tions com­ple­ment Sylvia and Shan­nan Rouss’ text, with facial expres­sions on the chil­dren and teacher that make the events described feel like a fun challenge.

Rec­om­mend­ed for ages 3 – 8.

Mar­cia Ber­neger is a retired teacher who lives with her hus­band and three crazy dogs. She taught both first and sec­ond grade, as well as spe­cial edu­ca­tion. She cur­rent­ly teach­es Torah school, in addi­tion to her vol­un­teer work in class­rooms, libraries, and with var­i­ous fundrais­ers. She lives in San Diego.

Discussion Questions