cover image Here Is the World: A Year of Jewish Holidays

Here Is the World: A Year of Jewish Holidays

Lesléa Newman, illus. by Susan Gal. Abrams, $18.95 (48p) ISBN 978-1-4197-1185-5

For an observant Jewish family, a year continually offers cause for celebration—especially when a newly arrived baby sister kicks off the cycle with a naming ceremony: “Here is the rabbi, with blessing to share./ Here is a wish and a hope and a prayer.” The simple couplets, which begin with the repeating phrase “Here is/are,” for a dash of liturgical rhythm, chronicle a year of togetherness in the home, in the synagogue (“open to all”), and in the outdoors: “Here is the shofar, its sound pure and sweet,” she writes about Rosh Hashanah, “Here are some apples and honey to eat.” (In keeping with the lighthearted mood, Yom Kippur is represented by a delicious “break-fast.”) Illustrating the change of seasons, Gal’s charcoal and digital collage images effervesce with cheery colors, moving from the radiant gold, yellows, and reds of autumn to the greens and blues of spring—with a stop in snowy winter for Chanukah, of course. A glossary, crafts ideas, and recipes conclude the book. Ages 4-7. Author’s agent: Elizabeth Harding, Curtis Brown. Illustrator’s agent: Morgan Gaynin. (Sept.)