One of the introductory titles from Apples & Honey Press, a new imprint of Behrman House and Gefen Publishing House, this is a sweet story about Farmer Kobi, who is kind and hard-working but clueless when it comes to finding a suitable match. When Kobi invites Polly to his farm for a special Hanukkah dinner, his equally kind and caring animals do their best to make her feel welcome. Polly is horrified that animals are allowed to live in the house. She finally flees, slamming the door on her way out and leaving Kobi completely bewildered. As fate would have it, Ruthie, a young woman with a friendly smile, soon knocks on the door asking to use the phone. She is invited to dinner — along with her own truckful of animals — and it is quickly clear that Kobi and Ruthie are a perfect match. Some of the illustrations, all lively and expressive, also incorporate Hebrew words, which are fun to find. A note at the end explains the Jewish values of compassion for animals (tza’ar ba’alei chayyim) and welcoming guests (hachnasat orchim) as well as suggestions for questions to stimulate conversation with children.
Recommended for ages 4 – 8.
Susan Kantor was a senior writer/editor for Girl Scouts of the USA, a children’s book editor, and a past judge for the National Jewish Book Awards in the illustrated children’s book category. She is a writer and a docent at the Rubin Museum in New York City, where she leads public and private tours.