Leah Wach­sler; Renate Lohmann, illus.
  • Review
By – December 14, 2017

Build­ing by Leah Wach­sler; Renate Lohmann, illus. | Jew­ish Book Coun­cil

Two wide-eyed chil­dren and their moth­er watch with fas­ci­na­tion as builders with trucks and tools come to their neigh­bor­hood and begin to dig a deep hole, bol­ster the sides with wood­en boards, mix and spread cement, wait for it to dry, build beams and scaf­fold­ing, lay bricks, install win­dows, doors, walls, pipes, and lights, and sud­den­ly, there it is — a big build­ing where no build­ing stood before!

The young boy won­ders what kind of build­ing this will become. He watch­es movers car­ry in box­es and fur­ni­ture and the beau­ti­ful build­ing trans­forms into a very spe­cial shul where a regal Aron Kodesh awaits its very own Torah.

Along the way, as the build­ing grows, the boy is grow­ing, too — not only in size, but in oth­er impor­tant ways as well. By watch­ing how the builders work, he learns impor­tant lessons such as the neces­si­ty for hard work and coop­er­a­tion as well as team­work, patience, and the impor­tance of safe­ty precautions.

This bright­ly col­ored, lam­i­nat­ed book is filled with gen­tle lessons about dai­ly life taught through the con­text of reli­gious life, but cer­tain­ly not lim­it­ed to it. It is accom­pa­nied by appeal­ing­ly drawn street scenes filled with neigh­bor­hood activity.

Rec­om­mend­ed for ages 3 to 6.

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.

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