Charming and focused, this fresh holiday tale brings delight and information by showing young children in the sukkah in the morning when it is daylight; fears of the dark do not enter the story. Already, you have to smile. Two tots, older sister, Sadie, and younger brother, Ori, are very excited about Sukkot. They cannot wait to use the sukkah decorated with their creations, made at Sunday school (neat plug). Rising super early, they come up with the idea to eat breakfast in the booth on their own. Having achieved the task, Sadie remembers Daddy explaining the mitzvah of inviting guests to eat in the sukkah with them but the hour is too early for the real people they know. Sadie saves the day with her great idea of inviting special friends, their stuffed animals. It’s a delicious happy-to-teary ending as the children and toy guests enjoy the sukkah together. Illustrations and page layout add to the message with lovely warmth. The paintings depict the children’s personalities, supporting the text and underlining the innocence. The scenes of finding food and utensils and then porting them to the back yard burst with energy and determination. Highly recommended for readers aged 4 – 6.
Ellen G. Cole, the librarian of the Levine Library of Temple Isaiah in Los Angeles, is a past judge of the Sydney Taylor Book Awards and a past chairperson of that committee. She is a co-author of the AJL guide, Excellence in Jewish Children’s Literature. Ellen is the recipient of two major awards for contribution to Judaic Librarianship, the Fanny Goldstein Merit Award from the Association of Jewish Libraries and the Dorothy Schroeder Award from the Association of Jewish Libraries of Southern California. She is on the board of AJLSC.