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.