Mr. Tempkin Climbs a Tree

Kar-Ben. Oct. 2019. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781541521735; pap. $7.99. ISBN 9781541521742.
PreS-Gr 2–Young Marky and his next door neighbor, Mr. Tempkin, work together to care for the birds and flowers in the man’s beautiful yard. One day, Mr. Tempkin falls out of a tree while attempting to protect his bird feeder from hungry squirrels. After the elderly fellow’s medical treatment, Marky offers to push Mr. Tempkin’s wheelchair to the synagogue for his daily visits and help out more around the yard. The man and the boy strengthen their bond and learn what friendship is all about. Bursting with robust colors like those found in a “Mercy Watson” title, this picture book is aesthetically pleasing. Set in an idyllic town with colorful homes and vibrant yards, life seems happy in Mr. Tempkin’s neighborhood. The characters are cheerfully helpful and even the animals are teeming with energy. The text is moderate in length and matches the illustrations in interest. The use of a smattering of Yiddish words adds to the spirit of the story.
VERDICT Kindness, empathy, compassion, and helpfulness are the main attributes expressed in this warmly inclusive picture book for elementary readers. A solid addition for most collections.

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