In each of us is a star, sometimes it just takes a little while to find it. That’s the lesson the little apple tree learns from G-d in The Apple Tree’s Discovery by Peninnah Schram and Rachayl Davis and illustrated by Wendy Lee.
The little apple tree wants more than anything else to have stars on its branches like those that appear to be hanging on the branches of the big oak trees. The apple tree asks G-d in winter, spring, summer and fall for stars upon its branches because it’s the only way it believes it will feel special.
G-d replies “Be patient, little apple tree.” As a year goes by the apple tree grows apples. And yet the apple tree still isn’t satisfied without the stars on its branches it doesn’t feel truly special. G-d causes a strong wind to blow and causes several apples to fall to the ground and split open. What the little apple tree discovers is what was inside of it all along. The Apple Tree’s Discovery is a beautiful story to share and pass on.
“Tsadee Daled Kof Hay” Do you know what that spells? Well, Dalia in the book How Dalia Put a Big Yellow Comforter Inside a Tiny Blue Box teaches her younger brother Yossi what this word means. It means Tzedakah. Dalia tells Yossi, “And it means I’m happy when you’re happy.”
This beautiful picture book written by Linda Heller and illustrated by Stacey Dressen McQueen is a unique and powerful book. Its uniqueness lies in the fact that it’s one of the only children’s books written about this important mitzvah. It’s powerful because it teaches children and adults alike how giving can change the lives of others and oneself in the process.
After Dalia learns about tzedakah boxes at school, she goes home and makes one herself. She tells her brother Yossi who is curious about the box that a “big yellow comforter” is in the box. As Dalia goes through the week she does good deeds and always remembers to put a little away in her tzedakah box. Dalia keeps adding new things such as a butterfly bush and banana cream pie to her tzedakah box.
Although adding money to the tzedahak box is a great mitzvah, sharing and doing kindness to others is equally as great. Read this book to find out what Yossi, Dalia and her classmates did to warm someone’s heart.
Reviews by Tamara Levine.