I've got little project to tell you about. Ever since Hallel, my daughter, was small, I've read to her at night. The choices for Jewish feminist books for young children are slim. So, I wrote one myself about Rosh Hodesh, called: The New Moon.
I have found two wonderful women, Susan Cathcart and Marilyn Kane, who poured their love into the illustrations. They have created the cover art so you can get a glimpse of what the whole book will look like. It has been a joy to work with them.
They have captured the spirit of the Biblical characters of each month.
Rose loved the moon. She loved how it shone in the sky and marked special occasions in the year. There was the season of Sukkot in the cool nights of autumn, Passover in the cool nights of spring, and Tu B’shvat, the festival of trees that marked the beginning of spring in Israel. Each special occasion gave Rose a different view of the full moon and it also provided different delicacies to enjoy. Best of all, Rose loved the New Moon celebrations of Rosh Hodesh. This was a time when the nights were very dark and there was only a sliver of the new moon to light the night sky. Although Rose still had lots to learn about Rosh Hodesh, she loved the way it brought women together to share in the wonders of the new moon, to sing and dance and laugh together. Rose also loved the special cookies that her mom made for Rosh Hodesh. Even the cookies were round, like the moon.
Author Rabbi Geela Rayzel Raphael has written an eloquent, tender-hearted story in New Moon for young girls to help them understand the Jewish traditions of the New Moon and Rosh Hodesh. Although this book was written primarily with Jewish girls in mind, the story teaches all young readers about how another religious and cultural group of people celebrate the seasons of the moon. The pictures beautifully complement the story and, as a bonus, the second half of the book is a coloring book so that the young reader can create their own art to celebrate Rosh Hodesh or just enjoy a story well told.
Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
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