Al Rosen, a Jewish man, takes on the jobs of his Christian neighbors on Christmas Eve and day so they can spend the holiday with their families, starting a tradition that lasts for decades.
A mitzvah, as Al explains, is a good deed, especially apt on holidays. A strong cross-over read, this warm story is about kindness and differences bringing people together.
This book was selected as a Best Jewish Children's Book of 2021 by Tablet Magazine and is a Sydney Taylor honor award!
"A heartwarming slice of neighborly love, caring, and sharing."—Kirkus Reviews
"Gottesfeld succeeds in highlighting a compassionate lesson of community care, and the importance of turning kindheartedness into action."—Publishers Weekly
"Per the straightforward text, Al ran a newsstand, pumped gas, sorted mail, shined shoes, and much more. Cheerful digital illustrations show him gamely going about the tasks . . . [A]t the end of the book, everyone whom Al had helped—'all the folks easy to dismiss in a world that mistakes wealth for worth'—gratifyingly comes together to celebrate Hanukkah with his family."—The Horn Book Magazine
"This inspirational cross-cultural story, based on true events, captures the holiday spirit . . . the message is a worthy one and the writing is clear, concise, and accessible. The cartoon-style illustrations are humorous and appealing, depicting a multicultural cast [with] a vibrant color palette that draws the eye and creates effective pacing[.]"—School Library Journal
"This lovely book represents the epitome of interfaith, interracial, and intergenerational interaction. People of all social classes, ethnicities, sizes and shapes are represented in the charming, down-to-earth illustrations. This is the perfect story to demonstrate that our differences do not need to divide us, rather they can serve as a wonderful opportunity to bring us together. A wonderful winter holiday book for the entire community."—Association of Jewish Libraries
"The Christmas Mitvzah will leave the reader with a warm, gratifying feeling and a desire to find people in need of help who they can assist in ways large and small."—Jewish Book Council
Michelle Laurentia Agatha was born in Indonesia. She's always had a huge interest in cartoons and illustrated books. Michelle earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California. Her most recent book, The Christmas Mitzvah, was named a Sydney Taylor Honor Book.