Lovely colorful drawings introduce the reader to a delightful story about Yom Kippur and the preparations leading up to the holiday. On her grandparents’ farm, Talia collects eggs and helps her grandfather milk a cow. These ingredients will be used for the kugel (noodle pudding) she and her grandmother will make later. The kugel recipe is given at the end of the book.
The charm of the book is that Talia thinks that the food they are making is for breakfast. When breakfast time comes and goes, her grandmother explains that the food is for break-fast, a meal the family with enjoy in the evening. Talia also misinterprets “fast” as the pace of the day, which in her eyes is slow. Once again, Grandma explains that a “fast” as it applies to Yom Kippur is not eating for the day. Simultaneously, she explains the meaning and purpose of the holiday. It is then that Talia apologizes not only for accidentally breaking her grandparents’ lamp but also about lying about who did it. It is then Grandma’s turn to say she is sorry for yelling at her when this happened. At day’s end, the whole family joins Talia for a truly “yum” Kippur break-fast meal.
For children who have little experience with rural settings, the book actually shows them where eggs and milk come from. Additionally, the relationship Talia has with her grandparents is a warm and positive one, a nice model for little ones to see, though most Jewish families have left rural communities and moved to urban settings.
The warmth and the charm of the malapropisms, and the positive relationship between generations make this a delightful story; nevertheless, there are some major red flags that educators and parents must be aware of prior to purchase. The publishers are aware of these and plan to rectify some issues prior to a second edition. In the meantime, please know that the art and text have some glaring inconsistencies including portrayals of the grandmother seemingly knitting and drinking coffee on Yom Kippur. The characters are preparing food during the day itself, although many who observe would prepare the day before. The characters do discuss issues of forgiveness, but the afterword implies that synagogue services are only attended by those of post – bar/bat mitzvah age. This lovely story has much to recommend it for ages 4 – 6 but should be pre-read with care for suitability before purchase.