One Small Spark: A Tikkun Olam Story

Dial. Aug. 2024. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780399186318.
PreS-Gr 3–Spiro’s (Love Grows) latest picture book explores the Jewish philosophy tikkun olam, which translates to “repair the world.” The book opens with a drablooking city in dark colors with rich details and asks, “Imagine the world you want to live in. If that’s not the world you see, will you create it?” A young girl then passes a playground with a broken swing and teeter totter, where trash litters the playground; she is seen conferring with her teacher and diverse classmates about how to fix it. The class adds books to the park’s Little Free Library, paints and fixes up the playground equipment, and serves food on a picnic blanket. The book ends with the city in bright colors with multicolored birds flying overhead (“Imagine everyone gathering sparks, opening their hearts, and repairing our world together”) illuminating the positive change the children have made through their work. Young readers will relate to the setting and enjoy finding out how kids are able to make a difference in their communities. Back matter includes an author’s note.
VERDICT A lovely picture book sure to inspire the youngest changemakers to create the world they want to live in, and a reminder that cultural and even religious adages or tenets are worth pondering and enacting. Recommended for all collections.

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