An attractive, different take on a holiday tale.

LITTLE RED ROSIE

As in the story of the little red hen, Little Red Rosie, a Jewish white girl, is baking bread, but she is baking festive challah.

In the folk tale, the hen gets no help and must do everything herself. In this lively picture book, Rosie’s stuffed animals come to life, and Toucan, Parrot, and Hornbill (and a yellow bird that observes) help make the loaves, both the usual braided type and the round challah, symbolic of the cycle of life and God’s crown and made specifically for the high holidays. No adults help, but Kimmel writes in his afterword that Rosie “practices being the capable one—the parent—with her bird friends.” Rosie’s repetitive questions, as in “Who will help me knead the dough?” and the frequent, eager “I will” responses of the main avian characters will help young readers join in. Watercolor paintings set in a modern kitchen detail the mess and emphasize the story’s fun. The three birds are pictured sitting on the (covered) rising dough “like it was an egg in a nest.” The shaping of the dough into challah is quite amusing. Luckily, the loaves are ready for the neighborhood holiday dinner, a multiethnic affair. Readers wishing for educational extras will need to look elsewhere for a description of the holiday and the festive foods pictured (pomegranate, apple, and honey), a Hebrew transliteration of the English prayer, and a challah recipe.

An attractive, different take on a holiday tale. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 4, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-68115-518-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Apples & Honey Press

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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Though it will never usurp Dr. Seuss, it will still find a home where Christian families of faith seek inspirational picture...

WHEN I PRAY FOR YOU

Turner adds another title to his picture-book series that highlights the miracles in the mundane (When God Made Light, 2018, etc.).

In the vein of children’s-bookshelf stalwart Oh, the Places You’ll Go, Turner’s rhyming text includes both prayers and life advice for a growing child, beginning with infancy and moving on to adolescence. At times the rhyme and meter are strained, muddling meaning and making the tempo feel occasionally awkward when read aloud. Overall, though, the book executes its mission, presenting Christian theological truths within the rhythmic inspirational text. For this third series installment Turner’s text is paired with a new illustrator, whose bright illustrations of wide-eyed children have great shelf appeal. While David Catrow’s previous illustrations in the series featured effervescent black protagonists, the child in Barnes’ illustrations appears white, though she occupies an otherwise diverse world. While illustrated as a prayer from a mother for her daughter, the text itself is gender neutral.

Though it will never usurp Dr. Seuss, it will still find a home where Christian families of faith seek inspirational picture books. (Picture book/religion. 3-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 19, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-52565058-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: WaterBrook

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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In the end too much is left unanswered, making this book pleasant but only passable

PIPPA'S PASSOVER PLATE

A mouse searches for and finally finds her missing Seder plate.

Pippa is an industrious house-cleaning mouse. And no wonder—Passover is starting this very evening. Dusting and sweeping finished, she turns her attention to setting the table as a pot of chicken stew bubbles away on the stovetop. But there is one very important object that is missing: the “special Seder plate.” Frantically, the mouse searches through boxes and cupboards and finally ventures into the yard. First she encounters a very large cat and asks if it has seen the plate. “No,” answers the cat and points her to a snake, who sends her to an owl, who directs her to Golda Fish, prettily swimming in the water. Success! Kirkfield’s little tale is written in rhyming couplets with much repetition of “QUIVER! QUAVER! SHIVER! SHAKE!” for emphasis with each interaction with a predator, so readers will be mightily puzzled when the formerly frightful critters join Pippa at the holiday table. Weber’s gouache, crayon, and collage illustrations are sweetly pretty. The final illustration features a Seder plate with transliterated Hebrew and an English translation of the components. Readers familiar with the holiday may find this mildly enjoyable, but others will likely want and need more information.

In the end too much is left unanswered, making this book pleasant but only passable . (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Feb. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-8234-4162-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Nov. 12, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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