Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Books for Shavuot {Reviews & Giveaway}

Shavuot is a pretty major holiday that gets a pretty major short-shrift in the mainstream world. The grocery stores aren't putting out their displays for this holiday. (Last year, my family had a great Shavuot observance, which I'm hoping to replicate in some way again this year.) That's why I was so excited to receive a package of Shavuot books from Kar-Ben Publishing!

They sent me four books:

No Rules for MichaelNo Rules for Michael by Sylvia Rouss

My kids loved this one. Partly because their dad's name is Michael, and he is pretty mischievous in this book! A really sweet story about a boy who wants NO rules, and when he gets it...well, you can only imagine.

Ten Good Rules: A Ten Commandments Counting BookTen Good Rules: A Counting Book by Susan Remick Topek

Adorable photographs and simple print accompany this introduction to the 10 commandments, while also pointing out the "counting" lesson, which my kids are always really into. We enjoyed this one as well!

Sammy Spider's First ShavuotSammy Spider's First Shavuot by Sylvia Rouss

If you haven't met Sammy, you should. The cute little spider lives in a great house where they're always observing Jewish holidays. "Silly little Sammy...spiders don't celebrate Shavuot, spiders spin webs!" That's what Mrs. Spider always tells her son...but he ends up celebrating the holiday anyway. Sammy watches the way that the Shapiro family prepares for the holiday. I must admit, this one was a little bit of a stretch for me in Sammy-land, but my kids, especially my own Sammy, loved it.
The Littlest Mountain (Bible)
The Littlest Mountain by Barb Rosenstock

This was my favorite of the four! It is a lovely adaptation of a midrash in Bereshit Rabbah, telling the story of the mountains competing to be the site of the giving of the Ten Commandments. The illustrations are beautiful and the story is told so sweetly. I wasn't sure if my kids would like it but they really did, they asked to have this one read again! I love how the story reminds us that impressing God is not about our size or our accomplishments, but rather how kind and caring we are.

The Littlest Mountain was also my family's PJ Library selection this month, so I'm giving away the copy from Kar-Ben to one of you, my lucky readers! Leave me a comment here to be entered to win. Ends on Friday morning so I have time to get you your book before Shavuot!

What's your favorite book for Shavuot?

Full disclosure: Kar-Ben sent me the books for review, and my family has read them over and over again.


Shorty said...

the Sammy series seems so awesome.

Does the giveaway count for us in Canada too?

Aviva said...

We would love to win a copy of the littlest mountain.

Holly said...

I'd love the Littlest Mountain!!! I already love Sammy Spider and am sad that my youngest is outgrowing them, such clever books!

Bible Belt Balabusta said...

Ten Good Rules by Susan Remick Topek is still my favorite. The original version (1991) has sweet illustrations by Rosalyn Schanzer, and the 2007 redesign, which you've featured in your Shavuot roundup, is a great update with photos. I'm glad I have both!
But I'd love to have the Littlest Mountain. Nashville got PJ Library funding a few months ago, but I'm still waiting for the wheels to start turning (and for books to start arriving).

shoshana said...

The Littlest Mountain sounds great! We have No Rules for Michael, which my son enjoys, but for some reason I'm not such a fan. Maybe because it seems like the lesson is you only have to be kind and fair when there are rules in place, rather than that those are part of living a normal and ethical life. I'm probably reading too much into it though!

Matt said...

We just received No Rules for Michael from the PJ Library but the others are all new to us!

Batya said...

Ten Good Rules: A Counting Book by Susan Remick Topek sounds like fun. My grandkids love to count in both Hebrew and English!

Frume Sarah said...

I Love No Rules for Michael and Ten Good Rules. Not familiar with this new one about the mountain ;)

Elisa said...

My office bookshelf hasn't gotten any new kids books in a while. :)

Lisa Goldstein said...

My bookshelf is in serious need of The Littlest Mountain. Because we really do try to get to teach about Shavuot every year! And because one of the security words (proving I'm not a robot) is "heavenly." Not kidding.