Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Book Review - Sammy Spider's First Mitzvah


Sammy Spider’s First Mitzvah (Kar-Ben Favorites)

By: Sylvia A. Rouss
Illustrated by: Katherine Janus Kahn
Publisher: Kar-Ben Publishing
Publication Date: August 2014
ISBN: 978-1467719483
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: December 6, 2014

Sammy Spider looked down at Josh who was lying on the couch in his pjs. “A-c-ch-o-o-oo-o-oo!” Even Josh’s teddy bear heard that sneeze. There was definitely something wrong with Josh and Sammy asked his mother what was wrong. “He caught a cold,” Mrs. Spider told him. Mrs. Shapiro had a spoonful of medicine for Josh, and Sammy wanted some too. “Silly little Sammy. Spiders don’t take medicine,” his mother declared, “Spiders spin webs!”

Moti, Josh’s new neighbor, soon arrived with a big pot of chicken soup for Josh. It was sure to help him get better. Mrs. Spider told Sammy that “When someone is sick, it is a mitzvah to visit them.” The sneezes kept coming and Moti exclaimed “Labruit.” Of course that was the “Hebrew word you say when someone sneezes.” Bringing that soup was Moti’s mitzvah for Josh, but was there anything that Sammy could do for his own mitzvah? He began to think as he spun a web.

This is yet another Sammy Spider tale that young children will love. I’ve read many Sammy Spider tales and this one is a perfect one to introduce the bikkur cholim. Even the youngest children can visit someone who is ill or send a card and will learn just how important this is from Sammy. The ever-popular Sammy, along with Mrs. Spider, impart a lot of Jewish traditions. The artwork is the typical Sammy Spider, a mix of collage and gouache, that has simple appeal. In the back of the book is a brief paragraph describing bikkur cholim and the mitzvah.

Quill says: Young children will learn from Sammy an easy way to perform a mitzvah!