Pic­nic at Camp Shalom

Jacque­line Jules; Deb­o­rah Mel­mon, illus.
  • Review
By – August 31, 2011
Campers Car­ly and Sara become fast friends. Car­ly vol­un­teers to bring Sara her mail, and she is very excit­ed to learn that Sara’s last name is Frank­furter.” But when she says like the hot dog,” Sara is insult­ed and does not want to be friends. As the campers eat lunch and par­tic­i­pate in activ­i­ties, Sara avoids Car­ly. When their bunk prac­tices to sing after the Shab­bat din­ner, Sara is still dis­tant. As the campers enjoy Shab­bat din­ner, the coun­selor sug­gests that Car­ly intro­duce her­self and Sara before they sing a duet. When Sara hears that Carly’s last name is ham­burg­er, like chopped meat,” she real­izes that Car­ly was not mak­ing fun of her, and the girls enjoy the Sun­day pic­nic togeth­er. Friend­ship and Jew­ish camp­ing are high­light­ed, and Deb­o­rah Melmon’s adorable col­or illus­tra­tions com­ple­ment the text. While describ­ing friend­ships and full days of camp, there is also a les­son to be learned about deal­ing with friends and try­ing to make things right after an unfor­tu­nate faux pas. The coun­selor encour­ages Car­ly to give Sara some space,” rather than force a face-to-face con­fronta­tion. The book can also be used for a lan­guage arts exer­cise in find­ing sim­i­lar or oppo­site last names (Black, White; Sil­ver­man, Gold­man). This book would serve as a won­der­ful intro­duc­tion for a new camper, Jew­ish or not. For ages 5 – 8.

Kathe Pinchuck, M.L.I.S., is the librar­i­an of Con­gre­ga­tion Beth Sholom in Tea­neck, New Jer­sey. She is cur­rent­ly the chair of the Syd­ney Tay­lor Book Award Com­mit­tee of the Asso­ci­a­tion of Jew­ish Libraries.

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