Sam­my Spider’s First Sim­chat Torah

Sylvia Rouss; Kather­ine Janus Kahn, illus.
  • Review
By – September 1, 2011
Author Sylvia Rouss has again cre­at­ed a suc­cess­ful intro­duc­tion to a Jew­ish hol­i­day for young chil­dren. Sam­my, a young spi­der, lives in a web on the Shapiro’s liv­ing room ceil­ing. He would love his moth­er to read to him just as Mrs. Shapiro reads to her young son, Joshua. Again tonight Joshua selects the pic­ture book about Sim­chat Torah. Sam­my asks his moth­er to read to him. She replies, Sil­ly, lit­tle Sam­my, Spi­ders don’t read books. Spi­ders spin webs. But you may lis­ten while Mrs. Shapiro reads to Josh.” Sam­my low­ers him­self on his web to look at the pic­tures and lis­tens to the sto­ry. He learns that the Torah is the sto­ry of the Jew­ish peo­ple, a por­tion of which is read each week on the Sab­bath. On Sim­chat Torah the read­ing will be com­plete and the peo­ple will start to read it all over again. The cut paper col­lage illus­tra­tions are styl­is­tic, bold and col­or­ful. The text is on a stark white ground. The font is large, black, and easy to read. This book is an excel­lent addi­tion for a home, reli­gious school or pub­lic library. For ages 3 – 6.

Read­ing Guide

Nao­mi Kramer is a retired read­ing con­sul­tant teacher who devel­oped cur­ricu­lum for using lit­er­a­ture to edu­cate chil­dren and adults in the his­to­ry of the Holo­caust. She is a docent and edu­ca­tor at the Holo­caust Memo­r­i­al and Tol­er­ance Edu­ca­tion Cen­ter of Nas­sau County.

Discussion Questions