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.