cover image Awe-some Days: Poems About the Jewish Holidays

Awe-some Days: Poems About the Jewish Holidays

Marilyn Singer, illus. by Dana Wulfekotte. Rocky Pond, $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-5933-2469-1

A light-skinned family decides to observe every holiday in the Jewish calendar—“the ones we know well,/ the ones we do not,” announces Singer’s speaker. As Wulfekotte’s digitally colored pencil illustrations portray celebrations, starting with Rosh Hashanah and proceeding with well-known and less familiar holidays, the narrator reflects on the meaning of each occasion in a first-person poem, and accompanying commentary fills in details and context (“Shavuot, which occurs seven weeks after the beginning of Passover, has been called ‘the most important Jewish holiday you never heard of’ ”). Unseen cousins in Israel open up the celebratory aperture; from them, for example, the family learns that it’s customary to play with toy bows and arrows on Lag B’Omer. As Rosh Hashanah comes around once more, the experiment is declared a success: “Shall we do it again?/ We all say, ‘Amen!’ ” A note about the Jewish calendar concludes. Ages 5–8. (Sept.)