Kids who love fairy tales featuring the Big Bad Wolf will be interested to see how this particular wolf observes Yom Kippur. He attends synagogue hoping that having so many of his friends in one place will make for a giant, tasty meal. When he arrives, the warmth and friendliness of the rabbi and cantor are surprisingly appealing. He listens to the rabbi’s inspirational speech and begins to think about being kinder to others. When he meets Little Red Riding Hood on her way to Grandmother’s house, he has many opportunities to be helpful. When he meets the Three Little Pigs, he assists them in building a secure home. He struggles all day with his evil inclinations, but the desire to be good outweighs them. As Yom Kippur ends, the Big Bad Wolf finds that Little Red Riding Hood and the Three Little Pigs have prepared a tasty, after-the-fast meal at his home — and he begins to understand the benefits of friendship. He focuses on improving his outlook and behavior in the future.
Amusing and colorful illustrations depict the animal characters with a charming range of facial expressions. An author’s note provides more information about Yom Kippur and the efforts one can make to be a better, kinder person. This creative approach to teaching children about Yom Kippur and introspection can lead to further conversations about the people they hope to become as they grow up.
Michal Hoschander Malen is the editor of Jewish Book Council’s young adult and children’s book reviews. A former librarian, she has lectured on topics relating to literacy, run book clubs, and loves to read aloud to her grandchildren.