Way Too Much Chal­lah Dough

Goldie Shul­man; Vitaliy Roma­nenko, illus.
  • Review
By – November 11, 2011

All chil­dren love to cook, and this book tells of Mindy’s first attempt at bak­ing chal­lah on her own, after call­ing her Bub­by for the recipe. Mindy gets dis­tract­ed from focus­ing on her Bubby’s direc­tions, and she keeps adding more yeast — just in case. The dough ris­es high­er and high­er, going from bowl to sink to toy box, and final­ly tak­ing over whole house. Thank good­ness the whole episode was just a dream. The chal­lah was baked per­fect­ly and is served to her fam­i­ly for Shabbat. 

The book has a singsong qual­i­ty, with each two lines end­ing in rhyme. The pic­tures are bright and the expres­sions on Mindy’s face help move the sto­ry along for non-read­ers. The book’s goal, accord­ing to the pub­lish­er, is to teach chil­dren the ben­e­fits of fol­low­ing direc­tions so that they can keep the mitzvot. In that vein, it would have been prefer­able if Mindy’s Bub­by had involved her in the fix-it” process. That way she could have active­ly par­tic­i­pat­ed in the learn­ing expe­ri­ence, rather than just hav­ing her prob­lem mag­i­cal­ly solved by a grown-up in her dream. 

This book will cer­tain­ly appeal to Jew­ish fam­i­lies who are look­ing to teach their chil­dren about mitzvot and begin­ning to involve them in the process of per­form­ing mitzvot them­selves. For ages 4 – 8.

Rachel Ros­ner is the Direc­tor of the Jew­ish Book Fes­ti­val in Rochester, NY. She also runs Jew­ish Fam­i­ly Pro­grams for the JCC, and has worked there since 1994. She holds a degree in Ear­ly Child­hood Edu­ca­tion from Syra­cuse University.

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