cover image In God's Hands

In God's Hands

Lawrence Kushner, Gary D. Schmidt, , illus. by Matthew J. Baek. . Jewish Lights, $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-58023-224-1

A miracle connects two very different men in this uplifting tale inspired by Jewish legend. Jacob, a rich man preoccupied with increasing his wealth, and David, a poor man worried about feeding his hungry family, unknowingly cross paths at the synagogue. One day at services, Jacob hears words from the Book of Leviticus—a command from God to bake loaves of challah—and takes the verse to heart. Jacob then leaves his offering of fresh-baked bread at the synagogue, where it is found by David and thought to be the tangible answer to his prayers. The same ritual repeats week after week until the rabbi unravels the mysterious bread exchange and encourages the men to keep it up, as their hands are extensions of God's hands, doing His work. Kushner (The Book of Miracles ) and Schmidt's (Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy ) narrative unwinds with a crisp rhythm. Baek's children's book debut features gently stylized paintings in dusty earth and jewel tones that exude a timeless feel appropriate for this accessible outing. Ages 5-up. (Aug.)