The stories reviewed are only a handful of those written for children about the holiday Shavuot. On this holiday we celebrate because Moses went up the mountain and receives the Laws (Torah) from G-d.
A Mountain of Blintzes by Barbara Goldin and illustrated by Anik McGrory is slightly based on the tales of Chelm, but in this version the setting is in the 1920’s in the Catskill Mountains instead of in the 1880’s in Eastern Europe, the author notes.
These bright illustrations engage the reader and bring to life the story of Sarah, Max and their five children who all work hard, but cannot afford the ingredients to make blintzes for Shavuot. Max and Sarah come up with a great idea: to do extra work. However, “Who has time for extra?” Max asks Sarah.
Sarah and Max somehow find the time to do the “extra” work and decide to put the coins they earn into the coin box. Max believes Sarah is putting her hard-earned coins into the box and Sarah believes Max is doing likewise. They each decide to keep the coins for other Shavuot necessities. The entire family is surprised when Shavuot approaches and yet their coin box is…is…well read this wonderful tale to find out if the family gests to eat those tasty cheesy blintzes or not.
Sadie and the Big Mountain is written by Jamie Korngold and illustrated by Julie Fortenberry. Sadie is a preschooler who loves her school: Temple Beth El. She also loves her teacher, Mordah Sarah. Shavuot is approaching and Morah Sarah explains that the class along with Rabbi Jamie will hike up their own Mount Sinai.
Sadie is worried because she believes she’s too small to ever climb that big of a mountain; she hates hiking and hopes she’ll have a tummy ache or chicken pox or even worse poison ivy by Friday, which is Shavuot.
Friday comes and Sadie isn’t sick, although she and her classmates made walking sticks for their climb and blintzes for their treat once they reach the top, Sadie is still very worried. Will Rabbi Jamie, Morah Sarah and Sadie’s classmates help her to overcome her fears and realize that anyone can reach G-d? Read this wonderful tale to find out.
Reviews are by Tamara Levine, who works in a children’s library and is active in our online community at OneShul.org.