Dance, Sing, Remember: A Celebration of Jewish Holidays

January 14, 2020 - Comment

Hag Sameach! Happy Holidays! Do you know what holiday to sound the shofar for? Or when to build a sukkah? Now you can learn, in this celebration of eleven Jewish holidays, from Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, to Shavuot, the accepting of the Torah. There’s even a section on Shabbat, the Sabbath. The meaning

Hag Sameach! Happy Holidays!

Do you know what holiday to sound the shofar for? Or when to build a sukkah?

Now you can learn, in this celebration of eleven Jewish holidays, from Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, to Shavuot, the accepting of the Torah. There’s even a section on Shabbat, the Sabbath. The meaning and story behind each holiday are explained. There are also activities, music, and recipes for adults and children to work on together.

Leslie Kimmelman has created a timeless Jewish treasury, and Ora Eitan’s rich, stylized art perfectly captures the mood of each celebration.

Open the pages and discover that a whole year of Jewish holidays is beginning!

From Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, in early fall, to Shavuot, celebrating the first harvest of the spring and the accepting of the Torah, Dance, Sing, and Remember offers an engaging, colorful introduction to the moods and meanings of a variety of Jewish holidays. Leslie Kimmelman invites readers to honor 11 of these special days by learning what each one is about and how it is observed. Kimmelman’s warm, accessible writing provides enough background information for anyone–Jewish or not–who wants to understand why a sukkah (hut) is built in the backyard during Sukkot, or when the shofar (long, twisty horn) is blown, or how to play the dreidel (spinning top) game. Ora Eitan’s unusual and appealing illustrations appear framed in white, and superimposed on full spreads of background color and patterns. Perhaps most intriguing of all is the two-page spread for Yom Hashoah, the sad and serious day in which Jewish people remember the Holocaust, the Shoah. Grainy gray turns to a solid black backdrop, with a small silhouette of a bird flying off a corner of the page. Most of the other illustrations are full of light and color, so this contrast is especially striking. Incorporating recipes, activities, music, and stories, this lovely picture book provides a window to the idea that “every holiday is a way of remembering, a way of connecting children to their parents and grandparents and to their parents and grandparents–all the way back to the very first Jews.” (Ages 4 to 8) –Emilie Coulter