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.
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.