How Dalia Put a Big Yel­low Com­forter Inside a Tiny Blue Box

Lin­da Heller; Stacey Dressen McQueen, illus.
  • Review
By – August 7, 2012

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.

Read­ing Guide

Mar­ci Lavine Bloch earned her MLS from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Mary­land, a BA from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Penn­syl­va­nia and an MA in Eng­lish Lit­er­a­ture from Ford­ham Uni­ver­si­ty. She has worked in syn­a­gogue and day school libraries and is cur­rent­ly fin­ish­ing her term on the Syd­ney Tay­lor Book Award Committee.

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