That’s right, folks. It’s time to start thinking about the High Holidays. Rosh Hashanah starts on SEPTEMBER 4th. Once you’re done freaking out, you might want to think about getting some books of your own to read with the kiddos. Here are some of my favorites, courtesy of PJ Library and my local library:
1. Classic Symbols & Themes
If you’re looking for books specifically about the symbols and themes of Rosh Hashanah, you might want to check out Engineer Ari and the Rosh Hashanah Ride by Deborah Bodin Cohen or Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur by Cathy Goldberg Fishman. The first book is a fun story about a conductor taking his train on its first trip across Israel during Rosh Hashanah, and the second one explores the traditions of both Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur through the eyes of a young girl.
Tashlich is my favorite part of Rosh Hashanah, and I think it’s the best part for children. It’s outside and it involves throwing things into water (I don’t know about your family, but that’s a recipe for success in mine). New Year at the Pier by April Halprin Wayland and Tashlich at Turtle Rock by Susan Schnur and Anna Schnur-Fishman are lovely picture books that follow two different children and their families as they participate in this meaningful tradition.
The High Holidays are often a wonderful time for reconnecting with our faith, spirituality, and religious observance, but it’s not always easy to know how to do this, much less talk to our children about it. How Mitzvah Giraffe Got His Long Long Neck by David Sokoloff is a fun-to-read rhyming book about a grumpy giraffe who figures out that helping others can be a great way to help ourselves. Blessed Are You: Traditional Everyday Hebrew Prayers by Michelle Edwards describes 13 basic Jewish blessings from Modeh Ani to the Shema. The book includes beautiful pictures, as well as the prayers in English, Hebrew, and transliteration.
4. Burning Questions
If your kids are anything like mine, they’ve got lots of questions all year round, and especially during the holidays. What Makes Someone a Jew? by Lauren Seidman is a little bit cheesy, but it is a sweet, inclusive book that will be relevant for any Jewish family. Finally, God’s Paintbrush by Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso is a classic book exploring God’s role in our lives, our relationships, and the natural world. It’s a wonderful way to start conversations about different ways to understand and experience God.
What are you reading this fall?