A young girl experiences new beginnings throughout the seasons and finds opportunities to say Shehechiyanu at each occasion. Shehechiyanu is described as a Jewish blessing said “when something takes place for the first time, or when it happens again after a long time, and we are thankful to experience it.” (This age appropriate explanatory quote precedes the first page of the story.) Fall includes new classrooms and Rosh Hashanah, with its round challah, apples dipped in honey, and pomegranates, and also the first meal in the sukkah. Winter brings the first snow and lighting Chanukah candles for the first night. The narrator’s sense of awe, appreciation, and gratitude are palpable on each occasion.
The story is also preceded by the text of this blessings, transliterated into English, and a translation of the meaning of the blessing. It is a perfect book for use in the Early Childhood classroom, when discussing blessings and giving thanks, and also can be an introduction to Jewish holidays either at home or in school.Sweet full-color pastel illustrations, replete with families gathered around the table for the holidays and which exemplify events during the Jewish year, such as braiding the challah dough and reciting the four questions at the Passover seder, perfectly complement the story. Elements of nature and its wonders are also illustrated through lovely pictures of a snowy day, birds flying in spring over newly sprouting flowers, and a full moon outside a window. Recommended for ages 3 – 7.