A Turkish Rosh Hashanah

Kalaniot. Aug. 2024. 32p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781962011976.
PreS-Gr 2–Three cousins in traditional Turkish garb meet their grandmother at a market in Istanbul to shop for food for Rosh Hashanah. Nona sends the young cousins with money to get some of the items. While they are gone, they feed some cats and encounter a bully who smashes one of their pomegranates. The bully is allergic to cats, starts sneezing, and runs into a barrel of fish scraps, bringing even more cats. Later that day, the family gathers at Nona’s house for the holiday, and Nona reinforces the meaning of each of the foods on their plates. Basseri’s charming story is peppered with Ladino words, and Özatalay’s illustrations complement the text with details and many colorful hues in the clothing and furnishings of a Sephardic family in Turkey. Back matter includes a glossary of Ladino words, a history of Jewish life in Turkey, and other facts about Rosh Hashanah.
VERDICT A solid addition to any collection to show the diversity in Jewish cultures.

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