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In 1892, Ari is selected to engineer the first train between Jaffa and Jerusalem. Filled with pride, he boasts to his friends and neglects to say goodbye to them before he sets off. As the train stops to collect the necessary items to celebrate the Jewish New Year-apples, honey, round challah, and shofars-he is reminded of the true meaning of the holiday. He promises to do teshuvah -"to do better"-when he returns to Jaffa by apologizing for his insensitive behavior. Cheerful illustrations depict the sights and scenes of Israel with nostalgia and charm as mustachioed Ari and his red train pass through the land. An author's note provides additional information about the history of the first steam train in Israel, along with an archival photo. Libraries looking to expand their Jewish holiday bookshelf will want to add this delightful title, which will also appeal to train-loving children.-Rachel Kamin, Des Plaines Public Library, IL
Posted September 4, 2010
Engineer Ari tapped on his friend Jesse's door and called out to her. "Boker tov...it's time to build our sukkah." It was the day after Yom Kippur and it was time to get ready to celebrate Sukkot, but there was a little work to be done before they could celebrate. Jessie thought that they needed Nathaniel because he was the one who was "handy with a saw and hammer." Just as she said that they spotted him walking up the road with his blue toolbox in hand. He suggested that they could find the wood they needed down by the railway station because there was some leftover wood there that was exactly what they needed. The three engineers happily sorted through the wood. Ari smiled to himself as a butterfly flitted around Jessie and her two boards. Nathaniel was carrying such a pile that when he started to walk his kippah flew off his head. Among the three of them they somehow managed to build the sukkah frame. It was an accomplishment, but Jessie said, "Now we need branches for the roof and fruit for decorations." The next day Ari "chug-a-lugged" out of Jaffa Station to collect what was needed. Hadas gave him some branches reminding him that "a sukkah's roof needs to be thick enough to keep out the rain." And "...thin enough to see the stars," said Ari. Aravah cut him some grapevines and Tamar sold him some lulav and an etrog. The first night of their celebration was blissfully happy, but Ari grew sad because he would not be able to celebrate with his new friends, Hadas, Avavah, and Tamar. Would there be any way that Engineer Ari could celebrate with all his friends, both old and new? This is a delightful tale of how Engineer Ari and his friends build a sukkah in preparation for a very joyous holiday. This fabulously fun tale "chug-a-lugged" right along, mixing a bit of fact with fiction as we travel through the pages. It was an easy and interesting story to introduce the sukkah to a younger child as you begin his or her Jewish education. The cheerfully appealing artwork makes it easy to show children what things like an etrog and a lulav actually look like. In the back of the book you will see a photograph of the first train that "steamed into Jerusalem," learn a bit about it, and learn more about the lulav. Quill says: You may wish to consider this book along with "Engineer Ari and the Rosh Hashanah Ride," which was a Sydney Taylor Honor Award Winner. This Sukkot tale is equally chug-a-lug charming!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 3, 2008
In 1892, Ari the Engineer was chosen to drive the very first train from Jaffa to Jerusalem. Nathaniel and Jessie, his friends, were not chosen and were sad. Ari was so happy to be chosen that he bragged too much to his friends and hurt their feelings. But Ari didn't care ¿ he was so excited that he was making this first historic trip to Jerusalem. He was in such a hurry to leave, he didn't even say good-bye to his friends! As he makes stops along the way, people give him food and treats to bring to the people of Jerusalem to help them celebrate the Rosh Hashanah holiday. Ari started to think of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. He thought of his friends that he'd hurt with his bragging. Did Ari go back to Jaffa and apologize to Nathaniel and Jessie? You'll just have to read this cute book to find out. I loved the storyline and the colorful kid-friendly illustrations. This book gets a high-five for teaching your child all about friendship and compassion. This one's a keeper that your child will enjoy reading over and over again. BY: Gayle Jacobson-Huset Managing Editor Stories for Children MagazineWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.