I’m Sor­ry, Grover: A Rosh Hashanah Tale

Til­da Bal­s­ley and Ellen Fis­ch­er; Tom Leigh, illus.
  • Review
By – August 12, 2013

It is nev­er easy to say I’m Sor­ry.” Sesame Street’s char­ac­ters, ever into feel­ings, work nice­ly here intro­duc­ing young tots to the com­pli­cat­ed con­cepts of repen­tance and repair with­out bur­den­ing them. Beloved, friend­ly fig­ures help in a pos­i­tive way to immerse young chil­dren in our seri­ous hol­i­days. In a straight­for­ward plot, Brosh, Israeli friend of Grover and Cook­ie Mon­ster, is look­ing for his lost blue wooly cap. He sus­pects every one of his friends as he comes across them, despite their sym­pa­thy, sleuthing sug­ges­tions, per­son­al deduc­tions as to where it might be or offers of help. When the cap is found, Brosh is tru­ly sor­ry about what he said and what he thought. He apol­o­gizes to his friends; he knows he will be a bet­ter friend in the com­ing year because of this expe­ri­ence. As the tale unfolds, sym­bols of Rosh Hashanah: the sho­far, round chal­lah, pome­gran­ates, apples and hon­ey, pop up in pic­tures and text. The sto­ry is set in Israel; illus­tra­tions sport many Hebrew words. The art is live­ly and expres­sive in a bold col­or palette true to the Mup­pets orig­i­nal col­or scheme. The plot unhinges sor­ry” from Yom Kip­pur and spreads the theme over the ten High Holy Days, a plus. This theme is often missed by young­sters at Rosh Hashanah in the joy­ous cel­e­bra­tions of the New Year. While good for tots, read­ers in K and up should turn to the clas­sic, the still-the-best-there-is, The Hard­est Word by Jacque­line Jules. I’m Sor­ry Grover is rec­om­mend­ed for ages 2 – 5 for its charm and its strong message.

Ellen G. Cole, a retired librar­i­an of the Levine Library of Tem­ple Isa­iah in Los Ange­les, is a past judge of the Syd­ney Tay­lor Book Awards and a past chair­per­son of that com­mit­tee. She is a co-author of the AJL guide, Excel­lence in Jew­ish Children’s Lit­er­a­ture. Ellen is the recip­i­ent of two major awards for con­tri­bu­tion to Juda­ic Librar­i­an­ship, the Fan­ny Gold­stein Mer­it Award from the Asso­ci­a­tion of Jew­ish Libraries and the Dorothy Schroed­er Award from the Asso­ci­a­tion of Jew­ish Libraries of South­ern Cal­i­for­nia. She is on the board of AJLSC.

Discussion Questions