Apples, Apples, All Year Round!

Apples & Honey. Aug. 2022. 24p. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781681155951.
PreS-K–This deceptively simple story celebrates a year of Jewish holidays using apples as the through line. With sparse, rhyming text, each spread celebrates a different Jewish holiday, beginning with Rosh Hashanah and continuing through Sukkot, Simchat Torah, Hanukkah, Tu B’shevat, Purim, Passover, and Shavuot. While the minimal text doesn’t explain much, each short rhyme includes something about the holiday, whether it is the apples and honey eaten on Rosh Hashanah or the trees planted on Tu B’Shevat. The illustrations are collage style on solid white backgrounds. A fox, bear, and raccoon are depicted fairly realistically, with a slightly cartoony feel. They wear no clothes, but do sit at tables and wave flags. The simple, bold illustrations pop on the white backgrounds and will catch and engage the attention of toddlers and preschoolers. The sparse text and bright illustrations would work equally well for a story time or a one-on-one reading. The lack of explanation makes this book most effective for a knowledgeable Jewish adult to share with a child; the general appeal of food and holidays will speak even to the uninitiated. Brief back matter includes a short author’s note on the back cover.
VERDICT This will be a welcome addition to Jewish schools and libraries looking for holiday books for their youngest readers. Public libraries will benefit from including this title as well.

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