Hap­py Birth­day, World: A Rosh Hashanah Celebration

Lat­i­fa Berry Kropf; Liz Carl­son, illus.
  • Review
By – August 3, 2012
The publisher’s line of board books for very young Jew­ish chil­dren is enhanced by this mean­ing­ful addi­tion. It intro­duces Rosh Hashanah by mak­ing analo­gies between the hol­i­day and a child’s birth­day, pre­sent­ing them as a guess­ing game that reveals the name of the hol­i­day on the last page. Eat­ing birth­day cake is paired with eat­ing apples and hon­ey, birth­day can­dles with can­dles on the hol­i­day table, toot­ing horns with blow­ing the sho­far, get­ting presents and giv­ing tzedakah, and then going to syn­a­gogue to thank G‑d for all the presents we have received. A real­is­tic look­ing mod­ern fam­i­ly, the father and son wear­ing kipot, are shown against famil­iar look­ing scenes at home and in a park. In the final pic­ture, the entire fam­i­ly is on a bridge, observ­ing tash­lich by throw­ing bread­crumbs to some wait­ing ducks in the water. Nice­ly done for ages 3 – 5.

Read­ing Guide

Lin­da R. Sil­ver is a spe­cial­ist in Jew­ish children’s lit­er­a­ture. She is edi­tor of the Asso­ci­a­tion of Jew­ish Libraries’ Jew­ish Val­ues­find­er, www​.ajl​jew​ish​val​ues​.org, and author of Best Jew­ish Books for Chil­dren and Teens: A JPS Guide (The Jew­ish Pub­li­ca­tion Soci­ety, 2010) and The Jew­ish Val­ues Find­er: A Guide to Val­ues in Jew­ish Children’s Lit­er­a­ture (Neal-Schu­man, 2008).

Discussion Questions