Yes, I Can!: A Book About Learn­ing From Everyone

Hindy Kvi­at & Chaya Leah Lefkowitz; Len Epstein, illus.
  • Review
By – January 24, 2018

Yes, I Can!: A Book About Learn­ing From Every­one by Hindy Kvi­at & Chaya Leah Lefkowitz; Len Epstein, illus. | Jew­ish Book Coun­cil

In this val­ue-laden book, young chil­dren absorb all the life lessons they can from the peo­ple who live and work in their com­mu­ni­ty. They learn about help­ing oth­ers from the fire­fight­er, about tak­ing care of friends and fam­i­ly from the local physi­cian, about safe­ty from the police offi­cer on patrol, about shar­ing knowl­edge from their teacher, about fix­ing mis­takes from a repair­man, and about the val­ue of fam­i­ly from their parents.

Their Jew­ish edu­ca­tion is not neglect­ed as they sur­vey their world. Local builders remind them about doing mitzvot as the chil­dren return to their class and add a brick to their class­room Bais Hamik­dosh” project. Sol­diers pass­ing by remind them that they are part of Hashem’s army and must fol­low the Torah’s rules. Local dis­plays remind them to act with tzinyus,or mod­esty, at all times. Watch­ing a pilot fly over­head reminds them that their prayers fly high­er than a pilot can ever soar.

This book takes a Chabad approach, but its whole­some con­tent can be used in mul­ti­ple set­tings to spark dis­cus­sion about role mod­els and how to learn from com­mu­ni­ty resources. Some vocab­u­lary will have to be explained to chil­dren from non-Ortho­dox back­grounds, but a glos­sary is includ­ed for this pur­pose. The col­or illus­tra­tions are bright and cheer­ful, and the pages are lam­i­nat­ed and easy to wipe clean.

Rec­om­mend­ed for ages 2 to 5.

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.

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