Why We Chose Harvest Blessings

This month’s offering for one- and two-year-olds, Harvest Blessings, is in a new format for PJ Library: it’s a flip book! If you read the book one way, the simple rhyme names and describes fruits and vegetables that grow in the earth, and if you flip it over there’s a second book, this one about the harvest from the trees! The cheerful illustrations depict a colourful array of fruits and vegetables, and there’s even a page at the end showing relevant bugs.

For a book for such young readers, Harvest Blessings has strong Jewish content: the poem about the fruit of the earth ends with the ha’adamah bracha (blessing), which is written in English, Hebrew and transliterated Hebrew, while the book celebrating the harvest from the trees concludes with the ha’eitz bracha. And the timing of this selection is not coincidental: the harvest theme ties in neatly with Shavuot, which takes place 28-30 May this year and is noted in the Torah as the start of the annual grain harvest in the land of Israel.