As soon as Dalia learns about tzedakah boxes in school, she makes one and begins planning all the great things she’ll do with the money she saves. The first dollar represents a big yellow comforter, the fifty cents she earns from weeding the garden is a butterfly bush, and the money from her lemonade stand becomes a banana cream pie. Dalia’s younger brother, Yossi, is intrigued, but her metaphorical answers about the tzedakah money don’t really answer his questions. Only when they join their tzedakah money with that of other neighborhood children, go shopping, and then deliver the purchases to a lonely elderly neighbor, does Yossi understand just what Dalia meant.
Heller’s text is a great introduction to the concept of giving tzedakah, and a note at the end gives some more detail about tzedakah in general and the history of tzedakah boxes. In McQueen’s illustrations, Dalia and her classmates look about eight or nine years old, though the dialogue in the text makes them sound much older. Nevertheless, this story about tzedakah provides a great introduction to the idea of giving, and will likely encourage many children to begin saving tzedakah, too. Highly recommended for children ages 4 – 9.