Dina Rosenfeld has written many other children’s books and is the editor-in-chief of Hachai Publishing. She has based this book, nominally dealing with the month of Elul, on a parable of the Ba’al HaTanya. The story is about a shoemaker, a baker, a blacksmith, and a tailor, who heard about a farmer’s visit to see the king. The shoemaker, the baker, the blacksmith, and the tailor then consider how they would ask the king to help them with their businesses if they got the chance. When suddenly the king passes by, they are able to ask him, but he replies that he also has a king, “Hashem, and the whole world is His.… He’s out in the field with a listening ear… It’s the best time to ask for a wonderful year.” The story is told in couplet rhyme for no apparent reason, and this detracts from the simplicity of the tale. In addition, the transition between the story and the ending is rather jarring. However, the illustrations are quite charming, and it would be a pleasure to see more work by the illustrator. For ages 4 – 6.
Barbara Silverman had an M.L.S. from Texas Woman’s University. She worked as a children’s librarian at the Corpus Christi Public Libraries and at the Corpus Christi ISD before retiring. She worked as a volunteer at the Astor Judaic Library of the Lawrence Family JCC in La Jolla, CA. Sadly, Barbara passed away is 2012.