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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Am I Kosher Yet?

Baxter, the Pig Who Wanted to Be Kosher by Laurel Snyder; illustrated by David Goldin
Baxter is “a curious sort of pig,” so when an old man at the bus stop starts wishing it were sundown, he can’t help but ask why. The old man describes Shabbat, the Jewish day of rest, and Baxter thinks it sounds great, so he asks how he can be part of Shabbat dinner. Another man tells him he can’t: he’s not kosher!
Baxter tries everything to be kosher: he eats jars of pickles and loaves of challah; he even tries to be a cow! Nothing works. But then one day, he meets a rabbi, and she tells him there’s been a terrible misunderstanding—he cannot be kosher, but that just means he can’t be eaten! Everyone is welcome at Shabbat dinner!
Each page has a mixed-media illustration, containing both drawings and photographs combined to create a scene. These make for interesting pictures that some kids may find off-putting while others will greatly enjoy. The big, googly eyes of each character keep the illustrations light. A letter from the author at the back gives a brief description of the social aspects of Shabbat, and a glossary of terms—with fun definitions—supports the narrative. Though this book does not cover any religious aspects of Shabbat or Judaism, beyond “mitzvah” (good deeds) and a mention of the Sabbath, it’s a fun and cute introduction to this weekly Jewish occasion. Definitely recommended!
And besides, any picture book that talks about the deliciousness of kugel (a "traditional Jewish casserole of sorts") is a winner for me!

Age 4-8
Copyright February 2011
ISBN: 9781582463155
Image from www.inerfaithfamily.com

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