Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A Rosh Hashanah Tale

I'm Sorry, Grover: A Rosh Hashanah Tale
by Tilda Balsley & Ellen Fischer
I have always been a great fan of Sesame Street. The program premiered on November 10, 1969, forty-nine weeks before I was born. My mother stayed home from school (she is a retired teacher) that day in order to see the premier episode.

This particular book, I'm Sorry, Grover: A Rosh Hashanah Tale is from the first Israeli co-production of Sesame Street, called Rechov Sumsum. Some of the familiar characters from America's Sesame Street are also seen on Shalom Sesame (the central location for the set of Rechov Sumsum). Grover and Cookie Monster appear in this story as well as Broch, Avigail (a cross between America's Elmo and Abby Cadabby) and Moishe Oofnik (compared to American's Oscar the Grouch).

The story opens with Grover welcoming the reader a Shanah Tovah - "Happy New Year". He explains that he is in Israel and is going to be telling us a story about his friend Brosh. Cookie Monster finds a sad Brosh in a coffee shop. He soon learns Brosh is sad because he has lost his woolly cap. Cookie Monster goes with Brosh in order to help him retrace his steps. He attempts to locate Grover, thinking he took the cap. He then confront Avigail and Moishe Oofnik, neither have his cap. When the cap is finally discovered Brosh must find each of the friends he thought had taken his cap and apologize.

Throughout the book various items used during Rosh Hashanah are mentioned, such as the shofar (a horn blown in long and short staccato blasts), round challah (circular bread to symbolize the cycle of the year), pomegranates (to symbolize being fruitful in the new year), apples and honey (for a sweet new year).  The text of the book is in English. However, there is a Hebrew text in a number of places in the illustrations. Since the book takes place during the High Holidays (the ten day period leading up to Rosh Hashanah) Brosh is given the opportunity to apologize to his friends and begin the new year with a clean slate.

This is one of four books in the Shalom Sesame eBooks available from Kar-Ben Publishing. Other books in the series include : The Count's Hanukkah Countdown, Grover and Big Bird's Passover Celebration, and It's a Mitzvah, Grover!. I would recommend this book for a library serving children in an area with a large Jewish population. I believe it would be a great book to help young children understand Rosh Hashanah and how to ask for forgiveness.

*To comply with new guidelines introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, Kar-Ben Publishing, has provided a complimentary electronic copy of this book for review purposes through

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