The Lit­tlest Levine

Sandy Lan­ton; Claire Keay, illus.
  • Review
By – May 29, 2014

Lit­tle ones can share how frus­trat­ing it is to be the lit­tle one, then kev­el over the glo­ri­ous­ly suc­cess­ful, hap­py end­ing to this adorable new pic­ture book. Grand­fa­ther pro­vides the phi­los­o­phy of patient wait­ing and the secret solu­tion, which leads being lit­tle to vic­to­ry. A three-gen­er­a­tion, pleas­ant, func­tion­al fam­i­ly gen­er­ates appeal­ing char­ac­ters to pop­u­late the plot. Pro­tag­o­nist Han­nah is stymied by her size, fac­ing dai­ly tasks and spe­cial jobs dur­ing the hol­i­days of Sukkot, Hanukkah and Purim. Passover Seder is the last straw. Every­one else has every­thing under con­trol; Han­nah mopes, she is with­out an assign­ment. Grand­pa taps her to come to his study to pre­pare for a spe­cial sur­prise. Dressed and ready for the big night, Han­nah shines recit­ing the just-learned four ques­tions, tra­di­tion­al­ly reserved for the youngest, usu­al­ly also the lit­tlest. The best part is the mix­ture of fun, promise and hol­i­day joy. Mobile, pas­tel, mod­ern art sup­ports the quick­ly mov­ing, chip­per dia­log. High­ly rec­om­mend­ed for deliv­er­ing warm Jew­ish fam­i­ly life and hol­i­day prac­tices at home. Here is adorable with­out trea­cle and with legs!

Rec­om­mend­ed for ages 5 – 7.

Ellen G. Cole, the librar­i­an of the Levine Library of Tem­ple Isa­iah in Los Ange­les, is a past judge of the Syd­ney Tay­lor Book Awards and a past chair­per­son of that com­mit­tee. She is a co-author of the AJL guide, Excel­lence in Jew­ish Children’s Lit­er­a­ture. Ellen is the recip­i­ent of two major awards for con­tri­bu­tion to Juda­ic Librar­i­an­ship, the Fan­ny Gold­stein Mer­it Award from the Asso­ci­a­tion of Jew­ish Libraries and the Dorothy Schroed­er Award from the Asso­ci­a­tion of Jew­ish Libraries of South­ern Cal­i­for­nia. She is on the board of AJLSC.

Discussion Questions