The Little Esrog hopes only to participate in the holiday of Sukkos, to play some small part and be useful in a minor role. He knows he is smaller than the others and is modest in his ambitions. But when the well-meaning non-Jewish delivery man cuts the essential part, the pitom, off each of the larger and more beautiful esrog specimens, in his mistaken attempt to help out, the Little Esrog, who was overlooked and still has his pitom, is the only one who can save the day. Because he is still whole and unblemished, the people of the town can perform the mitzvah, say the proper blessings and observe the holiday in the correct manner. The Little Esrog is still modest but is now happy and fulfilled because he is the one who saved the entire holiday from ruin.
Lessons learned from this sweet story are both obvious and subtle and make good topics for family or classroom discussion.
Full page illustrations are softly and gently integrated into this sweet story. Recommended for ages 5 – 10.
Michal Hoschander Malen is the editor of Jewish Book Council’s young adult and children’s book reviews. A former librarian, she has lectured on topics relating to literacy, run book clubs, and loves to read aloud to her grandchildren.