It's a Mitzvah, Grover!

It's a Mitzvah, Grover!

by Tilda Balsley, Ellen Fischer, Tom Leigh

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Judy Silverman
Our furry blue friend Grover is visiting Israel. His new friend Brosh tells him that their favorite playground has been ruined by a storm, and as a “tikun olam” project: all his new friends are going to fix it up and make it even better than it was before. Sometimes Hebrew words confuse Grover, but he soon learns that tikun olam means “changing the world”, making it a better place. They will sweep and clean the whole playground, and then they will paint the swings, slides, and seesaw. “Because we are repairing the world, we’re doing a mitzvah,” Brosh explains. Mitzvah is another Hebrew word that Grover does not understand! A mitzvah is a good deed, Grover learns. This one sounds like fun, too, but when the group stops at Moishe Oofnik’strash can, the grouch refuses to help at all! Oh well, there is a grouch in every neighborhood. Cleanup does not take long, and then comes the most fun—painting! They have only the three primary colors, but they manage to make purple, green, and orange. When the painting is done, they load the trash into bags and bring it (no real surprise) to Moishe Oofnik, who is thrilled to get food, used sneakers, and all kinds of other junk. It is a surprise to everyone when Moishe tosses empty can into the recycle bin. “I can’t believe my monster eyes,” says Grover. “Recycling is a mitzvah.” This book is lots of fun, and highly recommended. Reviewer: Judy Silverman; Ages 4 to 9.
Publishers Weekly
Grover, Moishe Oofnick (Oscar the Grouch), and the gang learn about helping others (doing mitzvot) and making the world a better place (tikkun olam) in this fun and cheerful tale. When a storm hits the local playground, Avigail, Brosh, and their Shalom Sesame friends decide to clean it up and restore its luster. As they repaint the slide, swings, and other equipment, they learn about basic and mixed colors and realize that everyone can be involved in doing good deeds. Even the grouch Moishe Oofnick sees, to his chagrin, that something as simple as recycling can be a mitzvah. The concept of tikkun olam and the directive to do mitzvot is simplified nicely for children. A bold color palette and an easy storyline will draw and hold attention as young readers find out about colors and mitzvot from familiar characters. Ages 2-6. (Apr.)
Kirkus Reviews
Can a book do its job too well? The story is basic enough: Grover and his Israeli friends want to clean up a playground. Moishe Oofnik refuses to help them, because he's a grouch. (He lives in a trash can like Oscar, his American cousin on Sesame Street.) But Moishe is more than willing to accept the discarded trash from the play area. He even weeds out the items that aren't garbage. "Recycling is a mitzvah!" Grover says, to Moishe's chagrin. "Moishe, you are doing a mitzvah." Oddly, though, the simple plot is interrupted, halfway through the book, for a lesson in color theory. As the Muppets paint the swing and slide, they talk about the colors they've chosen. Mahboub has picked yellow, "like sunflowers, loquats, lemons, and grapefruit." Mahboub goes on to explain that yellow and blue make green. The characters even teach some Hebrew words. Doing a mitzvah is helpfully--if not quite correctly--translated as doing "something nice for others." It's hard to fault a book for teaching too many valuable lessons. But after four straight pages, the lecture on colors turns into a distraction. Still, talking about colors is perfectly in character for Muppets. (Grover's friends come from Shalom Sesame, set in Israel.) And when readers take a look at the seesaw, painted in rainbow colors, they may forgive everything. Mitzvahs galore for Muppet lovers. (Picture book. 2-6)

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Product Details

Kar-Ben Publishing
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
9.30(w) x 9.50(h) x 0.20(d)
Age Range:
2 - 6 Years

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