Joey and the Giant Box

  • Review
By – June 3, 2015

Joey’s par­ents receive a deliv­ery in a giant box, and when it is emp­ty, Joey loves to play inside it. It pro­vides lots of scope for imag­i­na­tion and is a source of great fun. But the box is too big to take up per­ma­nent res­i­dence in Joey’s home, and his par­ents tell him it has to go. Then Joey sees a box like it at a local store, which is used for col­lect­ing food dona­tions for a food pantry. This gives Joey an idea. His box can be used for a mitz­vah, too! He brings it to school and enlists the help of his class to under­take a sim­i­lar project for the Star of David Food Bank. An impor­tant age-appro­pri­ate les­son about help­ing oth­ers is learned while par­tic­i­pat­ing in a fun team project.

There are two food pantries in this sto­ry, the gen­er­al one that gives Joey the idea for the class project and the Jew­ish one his class par­tic­i­pates in when they col­lect on their own. Donat­ing food to the hun­gry is both a par­tic­u­lar Jew­ish mitz­vah and a uni­ver­sal val­ue, and the two sep­a­rate food dri­ves in the sto­ry might be con­fus­ing to a young child.

Nev­er­the­less, this book reflects good val­ues — both Jew­ish and gen­er­al — accom­pa­nied by a plan of action. It has a charm­ing plot and great illus­tra­tions, and Joey is a lik­able char­ac­ter who is easy to iden­ti­fy with and learn from. It is rec­om­mend­ed for ages 4 – 8.

Noa Paz Wahrman is a Jew­ish stud­ies librar­i­an and bib­li­og­ra­ph­er at Indi­ana Uni­ver­si­ty in Bloom­ing­ton IN.

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