Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Holidays Around the World: Celebrate Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur: With Honey, P

Holidays Around the World: Celebrate Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur: With Honey, P

Deborah Heiligman
For ages 6 to 9
National Geographic Children's Books, 2007   ISBN: 978-1426300769

Rosh Hashanah means Head of the year, or New Year. It is a day when Jews celebrate, when they look back on the year that has passed, and when prayers are offered up to God to ask for forgiveness and to give thanks.

During Rosh Hashanah Jews go to special services in the synagogue and they exchange cards. They have a big meal, which they share with family and friends. One of the things that people eat on this day is challah, a sweet raisin bread that is made at this time of year. Another thing that many Jews eat in some form or another is honey "so that they might have a sweet year."

Between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur there are ten days which are called the Days of Repentance. During these days Jews think about what they need to do to be better people. They ask others to forgive them for their mistakes and faults. They also help those in need.

Yom Kippur is a holy day during which adults and young people fast. Jews go to the synagogue to pray and to listen to a special service. It is a day to think about ones sins and to ask forgiveness for those sins. When the day comes to a close, someone blows a long note on the shofar and everyone gathers together to break the fast and to have a meal together.

This appealing title in the Holidays Around the World series gives readers an interesting picture of what the Jewish New Year celebration is like, and the text explains what takes place at this time of year. Numerous full color annotated photographs break up the text nicely and show scenes of celebration from around the world.

At the back of the book a "More about Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur"  section provides readers with further information, a recipe, a glossary, and more.