The Best Sukkot Pump­kin Ever

Laya Stein­berg; Colleen Mad­den, illus.
  • Review
By – August 11, 2017

Mic­ah is excit­ed to be vis­it­ing the pump­kin patch with his par­ents and oth­er fam­i­lies from their syn­a­gogue. Farmer Jared tells Mic­ah that they will be pick­ing pump­kins to donate to the soup kitchen. Mic­ah’s dad adds that When we help oth­ers like that, we’re tak­ing part in tikkun olam, repair­ing the world.” Mic­ah imag­ines how the pump­kins will help feed the hun­gry. Farmer Jared tells the chil­dren that they can each pick out a pump­kin to take home, too. Mic­ah decides he will save his pump­kin for Sukkot. Although he col­lects pump­kins of all shapes, sizes and tex­tures for the soup kitchen, when Mic­ah final­ly finds the pump­kin he wants to bring home, it is so large and heavy that he enlists three friends to help him roll it to the truck. How­ev­er, when Mic­ah remem­bers the soup kitchen, he offers the extra-large pump­kin to Farmer Jared who tells him that although the pump­kin is too large for cook­ing, it will make a won­der­ful dec­o­ra­tion for the soup kitchen. Sat­is­fied, Mic­ah then picks a per­fect lit­tle pump­kin, the best Sukkot pump­kin ever” to take home instead. When he thinks of the pump­kin dish­es his fam­i­ly eats on Sukkot, he feels very lucky and decides to donate this pump­kin to the soup kitchen, too. When Mic­ah steps on a rot­ten pump­kin, Farmer Jared explains that it will break­down into com­post and feed the soil next spring.” Mic­ah scoops up a hand­ful of its seeds and decides that he will plant his own pump­kins to have for Sukkot next year.

Enhanced by col­or­ful, cheery illus­tra­tions, The Best Sukkot Pump­kin Ever depicts the impor­tance of shar­ing and giv­ing to those in need. The author pro­vides an About Sukkot” page which details the mean­ing of the word, what the hol­i­day is about, and ways Jew­ish fam­i­lies cel­e­brate. Also includ­ed is a list fea­tur­ing sev­er­al sug­gest­ed Tikkun Olam activ­i­ties such as vol­un­teer­ing and donating.

Rec­om­mend­ed for ages 3 to 8.

Jil­lian Bietz stud­ied library tech­nol­o­gy and research skills and cur­rent­ly works in the library sys­tem. She is a book review­er for the Jew­ish Book Coun­cil and Kirkus Review Indie. Jil­lian lives in South­ern California.

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