Is It Sukkot Yet?

Is It Sukkot Yet? illus. by Alessandra Psacharopulo. 32p. ebook available. Albert Whitman. Aug. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780807533888.
PreS-K-"When leaves are all turning/bright orange and red/And it's time for the rakes to/come out of our shed…/Sukkot is on its way." Charming, warm illustrations depict a contemporary, rosy-cheeked family, along with their friends and neighbors (and their adorable furry and feathered friends), in an idyllic rural setting, getting ready for the Jewish harvest holiday. The refrain, "Sukkot is on its way" is repeated as everybody pitches in to build and decorate the sukkah, the temporary hut that Jewish families erect for the weeklong holiday. But when the sukkah is complete, the refrain changes: "When the sunlight's grown dim as it quickly turns night/And we're snug in our sukkah/with moonbeams for light…/Sukkot is here!" The final spread portrays two children sleeping peacefully outside in the sukkah while the grown-ups watch from the house. The lulav and etrog, important symbols of the holiday, make an appearance, but a festive holiday meal, prayers, and other traditional customs are absent.
VERDICT Without any background information, this title is clearly intended for those who celebrate Sukkot, and they will certainly welcome this lovely, poetic addition that's perfect for sharing aloud.-Rachel Kamin, North Suburban Synagogue Beth El, Highland Park, IL

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