The ten words of the blessing on bread, HaMotzi, convey profound meaning and gratitude. With fifty-one words and adorable color illustrations, the youngest readers are introduced to these concepts. Although we are hungry, we thank God before we eat. We appreciate that “good food, a home, a family, are gifts that God has given me.” A beautiful double spread of a wheat field shows the source of grain for the bread, and a transliteration will help with the Hebrew pronunciation. While the Hebrew blessing translates to “Who takes bread out of the earth,” a more accessible “Thank you God, for the blessing of bread, and for the meal which we will now enjoy” accompanies the transliteration. Simple rhymes and clear pictures are appropriate for the board book format. The verse can be easily memorized and used at home as well as in school. This book is highly recommended for pre-readers up to age three, and one hopes for a companion After We Eat about grace after meals (Birkat HaMazon).
Kathe Pinchuck, M.L.I.S., is the librarian of Congregation Beth Sholom in Teaneck, New Jersey. She is currently the chair of the Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee of the Association of Jewish Libraries.