Sweet Year: A Taste of the Jewish Holidays

Sweet Year: A Taste of the Jewish Holidays

by Mark Podwal
     
 

The Jewish year is blessed with many holidays, and each one has its special food. From Rosh Hashanah to Shavuot, from the Seder meal to the Sabbath meal, food celebrates the season and commemorates the miraculous. With lyrical prose and rich, vivid paintings, renowned artist Mark Podwal takes an inspired look at the age-old bond between the sacred and the sumptuous in… See more details below

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Overview

The Jewish year is blessed with many holidays, and each one has its special food. From Rosh Hashanah to Shavuot, from the Seder meal to the Sabbath meal, food celebrates the season and commemorates the miraculous. With lyrical prose and rich, vivid paintings, renowned artist Mark Podwal takes an inspired look at the age-old bond between the sacred and the sumptuous in this glorious gift book for any holiday in the Jewish year.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
In time for the start of the Jewish year (Rosh Hashanah begins on September 26), Podwal (The Menorah Story) explores the link between Jewish holidays and the foods associated with them. An imaginative series of paintings faces the brief text; in this book's small, gifty trim size, art and text share equal weight, neither dominating the other. Podwal's visual imagery is as metaphorical as his fans have come to expect: an opening illustration, for example, shows four foods tucked into as many envelopes, peeking out like holiday cards. The writing matches the art in eloquence and in its deceptively straightforward concentration of different ideas; Podwal works in definitions of the given holiday, a bit of folklore and a hint of inspiration as well. On Simchat Torah, Podwal writes, "The year's weekly readings of the Torah are finished. And right away begin again. Round carrot slices. Round sandwiches. Round the synagogue seven times. Everything round is a reminder that the reading of Torah has no end." Endnotes and an afterword give more information about the holidays as well as insights into economic or practical origins of the traditions. Of the targeted age group, children who already observe some of the rituals here are the likeliest to enjoy the poetic presentation, and their adult counterparts will probably enjoy it even more. Ages 4-8. (Aug.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
As a nice Jewish girl who actually spent one of the nights of Rosh Hashanah watching a stage production of Jesus Christ Superstar, I appreciated this small book that dedicates a page to each holiday then mentions some of the food that is eaten and why. For Rosh Hashanah, pomegranates are eaten, since they are said to have 613 seeds to make the 613 commandments of the Torah. For Purim the soft (water color?) illustrations show children walking in costumes that make them look like hamantaschen, three-sided pastries with fruit centers. There is a short explanation of the holidays at the back of the book in addition to a good bibliography, if the book has "whetted your appetite" for more information. Obviously this is a good book in our house, but I think it's good in any house or classroom where you want to know more about other cultures in a simple and accessible way. 2003, Doubleday Books for Young Readers, Ages 3 to 8.
— Sharon Levin
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
K-Gr 6-With beautifully crafted poetic text and symbolic paintings in gouache and acrylics, Podwal takes readers on a journey through the Jewish holidays and the foods that are essential elements of each observance and rite. The potato latkes of Hanukkah recall a miracle of lights while honey cakes on Shavuot symbolize the Torah's promise of a "land of milk and honey." Don't expect recipes and crafts. Rather, enjoy the artful and witty illustrations, each of which creates a colorful and fanciful tableau. For the autumn harvest festival of Sukkot, during which families eat in huts "that let the stars shine through," Podwal depicts a solar system of fruits. For Purim, a spring holiday celebrating the time that Esther saved the Persian Jews from Haman, children wear hamantaschen as costumes. A welcome addition to holiday collections.-Susan Pine, New York Public Library Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780385908696
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
08/26/2003
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 7.60(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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