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.