It’s a Mitz­vah, Grover!

Til­da Bal­s­ley and Ellen Fis­ch­er; Tom Leigh, illus.
  • Review
By – May 13, 2013

Bright and cheer­ful illus­tra­tions imme­di­ate­ly engage the reader’s atten­tion. Big­ger than life, Grover and his friends launch a teach­ing moment. They are work­ing on tikkun olam (mak­ing the world a bet­ter place). This is done with­in the frame­work of doing mitzvot (good deeds). Sesame Street reg­u­lars are joined by Avi­gail and Brosh, Israeli Jews, and Mah­boub, an Israeli Arab. Their first job is to fix up the play­ground, which is in bad con­di­tion because of a storm. As the char­ac­ters paint the play­ground equip­ment, the mix­ing of col­ors is intro­duced along with an intro­duc­tion to Israeli fruits such as pome­gran­ates, tan­ger­ines, and loquats.

Moishe, the Israeli Oscar the Grouch, wants no part of doing a mitz­vah. It is only when he is giv­en the trash col­lect­ed at the play­ground that he becomes involved. Not miss­ing a chance to edu­cate, Moishe imme­di­ate­ly sep­a­rates the reg­u­lar trash from things that can be recycled. 

The mes­sage of the book is sim­ple, clear­ly pre­sent­ed and enjoy­able. Rec­om­mend­ed 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.

Discussion Questions