Rosie Saves the Word is a charming picture book that teaches children about the Jewish concepts of tikkun olam, repair of the world; tzedakah, charity; mitzvot, good deeds; and areyvut, helping our own family and community.
After learning about mitzvot in religious school, Rosie decides she wants to save the world. She collects cans for the food pantry, sings to seniors, and pampers pets at the shelter — but while she’s busy helping others, Rosie neglects her own family. She doesn’t help her mother with the groceries, teach her brother how to write his Hebrew letters, or visit her own grandmother. After assisting a neighbor with her cranky baby, Rosie realizes that she has overlooked her own family and goes home to help with the most important mitzvah project of all — Operation Family Comes First.
Through simple language and engaging illustrations, Debbie Herman and Tammie Lyon teach a very important lesson without being preachy. Rosie, who is adorable with her curly hair and bright red glasses, enthusiastically demonstrates to young readers lots of ways to “repair the world,” both “in their homes and on their way.”
The book concludes with an explanation of the Jewish concept of areyvut, how all Jews are responsible for one another, not just the world at large, but for our own families. Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we all took Rosie’s lesson to heart?
Highly recommended for children ages 4 to 8, their parents, and their religious school classes.