Miriam and the Sasquatch: A Rosh Hashanah Story

Apples & Honey. Aug. 2022. 32p. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781681155814.
PreS-Gr 2–This clever Rosh Hashanah story does an excellent job of including holiday symbols and traditions while telling a unique, engaging tale. Miriam is excited for Rosh Hashanah. She heads into the orchard to pick apples for the holiday and practice blowing her shofar, a traditional ram’s horn trumpet. In the orchard, she discovers a Sasquatch sitting in a tree munching on apples. Upset that it might eat all the apples, Miriam attempts to scare it away, first by blowing the shofar, and next by throwing apples at it. The Sasquatch returns fire, hitting a beehive and sending a swarm of bees after them both. When Miriam trips while fleeing, the Sasquatch backtracks and carries her to safety. Miriam regrets her actions, befriends the Sasquatch, and invites it to join Rosh Hashanah dinner. Kimmel’s text is clever and child-centric with no wasted words. The premise will capture children’s interest, and the well-written text will retain them. The illustrations have a mixed-media feel: Miriam is depicted with brown, crayon-textured pigtails, oversized blue glasses, and large round eyes, while the huge, shaggy, brownish-orange, muppet-like Sasquatch sports a blue triangular nose and an impish smile. The slightly cartoonish style fits the amusing story well, and the holiday table on the final spread is filled with traditional foods.
VERDICT Though this won’t explain the holiday to newcomers, Jewish families will welcome the engaging plot and simple lesson. This fun title would be a great addition to any library wishing to expand its books on Jewish holidays.

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