Picnic at Camp Shalom

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Lois Rubin Gross
On the first day of swim tests, Carly and red-haired, Sara, declare themselves twins because they wear the same swimsuits and BFF because they share a love for music, singing, and giggling together. It is a great way to meet a new friend until Carly hears Sara's unusual last name (Frankfurter) and makes a joke that Sara has heard once too often. Despite Carly's attempts to apologize and explain (her last name is Hamburger, so they have something else in common—a lack of mustard?) fall on deaf ears and their friendship seems doomed. Then at the camp's weekly Sabbath celebration, the two heal their friendship and find that having strange last names is just another friendship bond. This is a sweet slice-of-life book with colorful cartoonish illustrations showing giggling campers and understanding counselors. The theme of misunderstandings in a friendship is universal, so share this with all readers despite the Jewish named camp. The single flaw in the book is that it seemingly starts in the middle of the story. The first line of the book, "Someone giggled behind me as I waited in line for my swim test," has no context. Like the swim test, readers are expected to dive right into the story. However, past the first page, the story holds together and there are lots of laughs in the illustrations like a bird pooping on the head of an unwary camper. A good, but not great, summer-themed book. Reviewer: Lois Rubin Gross
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3—At camp, Carly and Sara bond over shared activities and interests. All is well until Sara gets a letter from home that reveals her last name to be "Frankfurter." She mistakes Carly's excitement for teasing and avoids her until Carly finds as opportunity to explain that her own last name is "Hamburger." The girls conclude that while their names may cause teasing at school, at camp they are just what is needed for the weekly picnic. Despite the slightly contrived plot, this is a pleasant friendship story with a strong sense of place. The summer-camp experience is celebrated, from scavenger hunts to water sports to crafts to whispering after lights out. A uniquely Jewish experience is highlighted in the depiction of a dining hall Shabbat. However, the universal theme of the ups and downs of friendship makes the book appealing for children of all backgrounds. The colorful cartoon illustrations are playful and relaxed, warm, and full of humorous detail. The campers all appear to be Caucasian, limiting the book's inclusiveness for Jews of color. Characters' mainstream dress style implies non-Orthodox Judaism. A good choice for fans of friendship stories, summer-camp aficionados, and Jewish readers in general.—Heidi Estrin, Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel, Boca Raton, FL
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761366621
  • Publisher: Kar-Ben Publishing
  • Publication date: 3/28/2011
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,047,671
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD560L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.20 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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