Hel­lo, God!

Lin­da Vero-Ban; Eszter Paller, illus.; Ralph Berkin, trans.
  • Review
By – November 8, 2013

The author sets the tone of this book by talk­ing about prayer, first about all reli­gions and then specif­i­cal­ly about what makes Jew­ish prayer spe­cial. She empha­sizes that the most impor­tant thing is to pray from the heart.” Prayers, the author says, are what give us strength to make our dreams come true, con­quer our fears and make the world a bet­ter place.” She pro­ceeds to show us twen­ty-three short­ened prayers. They are pre­sent­ed in Hebrew, in translit­er­a­tion and in Eng­lish. They range from morn­ing prayers, to thank you prayers, to prayers to help when you feel home­sick. There are even prayers to remem­ber fam­i­ly mem­bers who are no longer with us. At the end of the book there is a place for chil­dren to write their own secret prayers.

Addi­tion­al­ly, chil­dren are encour­aged to draw pic­tures. Near the con­grat­u­la­to­ry prayer, there is space for a young­ster to draw a pic­ture of him- or her­self cel­e­brat­ing with friends. Near the bless­ing over the Shab­bat can­dles, the read­er can col­or in the Shab­bat table with its wine, chal­lot and can­dle­sticks. The Sweet Dream” prayer leaves space for a child to draw him- or her­self say­ing the good night Sh’ma.

Col­or­ful­ly illus­trat­ed, this book is a valu­able resource for par­ents and teach­ers to use to teach the con­cept of prayer and many of the prayers them­selves. Rec­om­mend­ed for chil­dren ages 4 to 10.

Marge Kaplan is a retired Eng­lish as a Sec­ond Lan­guage teacher. She is a con­sul­tant for the children’s lit­er­a­ture group for the Roseville, MN school sys­tem and is a sto­ry­teller of Jew­ish tales.

Discussion Questions