New Year at the Pier

April Hal­prin Way­land; Stephane Jorisch, illus.
  • Review
By – January 13, 2012
Every­one makes I’m sor­ry” lists before Taschlich, the sym­bol­ic cast­ing away of sins into water. Author April Hal­prin Way­land offers a great intro­duc­tion to the pur­pose and cel­e­bra­tion of Taschlich. The pro­tag­o­nist, Izzy, is like a lot of boys. He loves this chang­ing time of year. Some day’s sun­glass­es, some day’s sweaters. Apples, hon­ey, the sound of the sho­far, and his favorite part of Rosh Hashanah: Tash­lich!” But when he makes his I’m sor­ry” list, he real­izes that Tash­lich is going to be more chal­leng­ing than he first imag­ined. He is sor­ry for four things. For draw­ing on his sister’s fore­head, for los­ing Mom’s ring, for break­ing Mrs. Bickerson’s drum, and worst of all, for promis­ing he wouldn’t tell any­one that Ben sucks his thumb — and then telling. In the care­ful text, Izzy makes his apolo­gies. To his sur­prise, they also apol­o­gize to him, and he dis­cov­ers an impor­tant ele­ment of friend­ship and com­mu­ni­ty. New Year at the Pier will res­onate with read­ers of all ages. It encom­pass­es both the rit­u­als and the heart behind the hol­i­day. The text, inspired by Wayland’s own Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty, sings with life and ener­gy. Jorisch’s water­col­or and gouache paint­ings will make the read­er smile. This book will be an excel­lent addi­tion in reli­gious school libraries and class­rooms. It offers an excel­lent, thor­ough look at for­give­ness dur­ing one of the most impor­tant hol­i­days of the year. Ages 4 – 8.
Sarah Aron­son holds an MFA in Writ­ing for Chil­dren and Young Adults from Ver­mont Col­lege. She is a full time writer and has recent­ly pub­lished her first nov­el, Head Case (Roar­ing Brook) for young adults. Sara blogs every Thurs­day for the Lilith blog.

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