Shoshana Banana has written another creative little offering which turns out to be more than simply the sum of its parts. At first glance, this seems to be the light-hearted story of a young girl who is eagerly awaiting a trip to get a manicure and pedicure as a reward for good behavior, and is thinking up creative names for the nail polish colors as her treat of a day progresses. On closer examination, this is a child’s-view study of mitzvot and what they are all about; how it feels to perform them, how the recipient of tzedakah may feel at his or end of the process, and how small rewards can help motivate a child to do what she already knows is right. Creativity and imagination play a part, as well, in inspiring children to stretch to their finest moral heights.
The sparkly nail-polish-color-and-gold-star motif of the art is appropriate to the theme of the story and oh-so-cute.
An author’s note tells more about the concept of mitzvah as well as the use of motivation and reward as tools for moral education.
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.