Shavuot is coming, and Sadie’s class is celebrating by climbing ‘Mount Sinai’ behind their school. All the kids prepare eagerly for the big day – except Sadie, who doesn’t like hiking and worries that she won’t be able to walk all that way. With her teacher’s help, though, she conquers her fear and learns the beautiful lesson that ‘anyone can climb high enough to reach God’.
The child-friendly font and illustrations will appeal to five- and six-year-old subscribers, who will empathise with Sadie’s trepidation while also learning about the story behind Shavuot and the foods we eat to celebrate it.
There’s a wider discussion to be had here too. Rabbi Jamie is a woman, and the female teachers at the school wear kippot. PJ Library in the UK’s subscribers have a wide variety of religious backgrounds, beliefs and customs, and we are mindful of that diversity when we choose books. Some families will recognise their own religious perspective being depicted in Sadie and the Big Mountain, while for others it will be very unfamiliar. Whichever the case, this book offers a great opportunity for parents to talk with their children about the similarities and differences between the book and their own family’s traditions, and to discuss the reasons your family approaches Judaism the way you do. Sometimes our stories and the families in them are more traditional, others less so, but in every case, we embrace and celebrate the wonderful diversity of the Jewish people!
May 17, 2017