Shanghai Sukkah

illus. by Jing Jing Tsong. 32p. ebook available. Kar-Ben. 2015. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781467734745; pap. $7.99. ISBN 9781467734752; ebk. $6.99. ISBN 9781467788434.
K-Gr 2—Marcus tries to make the best of his new home after his family flees Berlin for Shanghai to escape the Nazis. There, he makes friends with other Jewish boys and a Chinese boy named Liang. As the Sukkot holiday nears, Marcus wonders where and how his family can build their sukkah. With the help of his friends, they build one out of bamboo on the roof of their building. Due to food shortages, they cannot decorate the hut with the traditional fruits and vegetables. Liang tells Marcus about the upcoming Moon Festival, which is happening the next day. The boys celebrate both holidays together, and Liang adds red Chinese lanterns to the sukkah to help illustrate the warmth of friendship. A spread at the end gives some basic information about Jewish refugee life in Shanghai, including photographs. Tsong mixes printmaking and digital art for large, bright illustrations. The endpapers, which feature a street scene depicting Jewish and Chinese life, are especially lovely. The reasons why Marcus's family need to leave Europe are glossed over, keeping this holiday story light.
VERDICT This heartwarming tale examines a little-known vibrant Jewish community while focusing on the joys and discovery of friendship.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing