New Month, New Moon

Alli­son Ofanan­sky; Eliyahu Alpern, illus.
  • Review
By – March 30, 2015

An Israeli fam­i­ly jour­neys to beau­ti­ful Macht­esh Ramon in the Negev to spend Rosh Chodesh, the begin­ning of the month, observ­ing and learn­ing about the moon while also enjoy­ing a hik­ing and camp­ing expe­ri­ence. The young read­er is intro­duced to the unique nat­ur­al beau­ty, unusu­al rocks, and ani­mal life in this ecosys­tem, and also expe­ri­ences a close-up of the new cres­cent moon through a tele­scope. The fam­i­ly and the read­er share the chang­ing phas­es of the moon and are treat­ed to a thor­ough explana­tion from Ira, a real astronomer who actu­al­ly does tours in the crater. When it is time for din­ner, their pitas also illus­trate the var­i­ous phas­es of the moon. The pho­to essay is fol­lowed by a page with sug­ges­tions for a craft project on how to make a papi­er-mâché moon and also a para­graph about the his­to­ry of Rosh Chodesh. Illus­trat­ed with love­ly pro­fes­sion­al pho­tographs that per­fect­ly por­tray the nat­ur­al events and won­ders dis­cussed, this book is part of Kar-Ben’s Nature in Israel” series on the holidays. 

This book is well done and filled with facts that will inte­grate the hol­i­day of Rosh Chodesh with the teach­ing of astron­o­my. In addi­tion, chil­dren will devel­op an appre­ci­a­tion of the earth­’s envi­ron­ment. This can be a per­fect addi­tion to a class­room unit on Israel or Rosh Chodesh. 

Rec­om­mend­ed as a read-to and indepen­dent read for ages 4 – 9.

Shelly Feit has an M.L.S. and a Sixth-year Spe­cial­ist’s Cer­tifi­cate in infor­ma­tion sci­ence. She is the library direc­tor and media spe­cial­ist at the Mori­ah School in Engle­wood, NJ.

Discussion Questions