Picnic at Camp Shalom

K-Gr 3—At camp, Carly and Sara bond over shared activities and interests. All is well until Sara gets a letter from home that reveals her last name to be "Frankfurter." She mistakes Carly's excitement for teasing and avoids her until Carly finds as opportunity to explain that her own last name is "Hamburger." The girls conclude that while their names may cause teasing at school, at camp they are just what is needed for the weekly picnic. Despite the slightly contrived plot, this is a pleasant friendship story with a strong sense of place. The summer-camp experience is celebrated, from scavenger hunts to water sports to crafts to whispering after lights out. A uniquely Jewish experience is highlighted in the depiction of a dining hall Shabbat. However, the universal theme of the ups and downs of friendship makes the book appealing for children of all backgrounds. The colorful cartoon illustrations are playful and relaxed, warm, and full of humorous detail. The campers all appear to be Caucasian, limiting the book's inclusiveness for Jews of color. Characters' mainstream dress style implies non-Orthodox Judaism. A good choice for fans of friendship stories, summer-camp aficionados, and Jewish readers in general.—Heidi Estrin, Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel, Boca Raton, FL
Sara and Carly become fast friends after meeting at Camp Shalom. That is, until Sara thinks Carly has made fun of her last name (Frankfurter) and subsequently ignores her. At a Shabbat singing session, Carly reveals her own meat-related surname, and the friendship is restored. The very slight, if warmhearted, story is accompanied by friendly cartoon illustrations featuring emotive, big-round-headed campers.

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