Taking a subject that is complex and presenting it simply is an art, and that is what these authors do. Those who want to explain kashrut to very young children will want to purchase this colorfully illustrated rhyming book. The publisher has chosen laminate-like pages, which makes them easy to turn and keep clean. There are only one or two sentences on each page and the pictures correlate well with the text. The book begins by presenting a child in her toy kosher kitchen with her two sets of dishes, one for milk and one for meat. Later, the child and her mother visit the kosher butcher where the child’s mother tells her that beef and chicken are good choices for someone who keeps kosher. The author reminds us that individuals who keep kosher cannot consume milk and meat meals back to back and need to separate those meals by several hours. The author also shows us how to identify kosher foods by looking at their markings. At the book’s close, the reader sees men and boys wearing kipot and eating in a kosher pizza restaurant where the foods are all dairy-based. Throughout the book the sentence, “Keeping kosher every day means eating in a special way.” is repeated as a simple and memorable refrain. The final page of the book is for adults. It explains kashrut in a more complex and sophisticated way. For ages 2 – 6.
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.