JUVENILE FICTION / Holidays & Celebrations / Other, Religious JUVENILE FICTION / Religious / Jewish JUVENILE FICTION / Religious / Jewish
Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year — 2010 — Winner
Annie is excited about the Tashlich ceremony on the afternoon of Rosh Hashanah, when her family will walk to Turtle Rock Creek and throw crumbs into the water, as symbols of mistakes made the past year. As Annie leads her family through the woods stopping at favorite rocks, bridges, and waterfalls in her family’s own Tashlich ritual, they think about the good and bad things that happened during the past year, and make plans for a sweeter new year. This story focuses on ecological connections to the Tashlich ceremony and encourages families to customize the ritual and commune with nature at the New Year.
"Tashlich, a Jewish custom performed during the high holidays, symbolizes the throwing away of last year's sins by discarding crumbs into a body of water. On the afternoon of Rosh Hashanah, Annie, who's "in charge" this year, creates a special outing for her family where they will perform the ritual and a few added observances. Following her lead, they hike through the woods and stop at different locations along the trail to remember the good and bad of the past year, make a promise to keep in the new year and then eat apples dipped in honey to welcome the beginning of a sweet year to come. The long yet straightforward narrative depicts an environmentally conscious, traditional family eager to share the acknowledgement of their mistakes and good memories. Annie's likable bossiness helps the necessarily explicative text go down easy. Gouache on textured paper emulate pointillism, depicting fall foliage dominated by auburn, brown and green colors. An author's note encourages families to find unique ways to practice this low-impact yet spiritually rich custom." --Kirkus Reviews—Journal
Susan Schnur is a Reconstructionist rabbi whose "paper pulpit" is Lilith magazine, a Jewish women's quarterly. Susan lives with her husband in Boston, Massachusetts. Anna Schnur-Fishman is a senior at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. She loves linguistics, Yiddish, and writing.