Measuring a Year: A Rosh Hashanah Story

Abrams/­Appleseed. Aug. 2022. 32p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781419744976.
PreS-Gr 1–Sparse poetic text celebrates various changes and experiences throughout a year in this engaging, multicultural Rosh Hashanah book. The book starts with the question, “How do you measure a year?” It continues with, “By looking at how much you grew…or all the things you learned to do?” It proceeds in that vein, mentioning everything from making mistakes, to being brave, to having fun, to moving away. It culminates with, “Our lives have changed in many ways,” and ends with thanks and celebration for the new year. The watercolor, colored pencil, and digital artwork portrays a diverse cast of children experiencing a variety of memorable moments throughout the year. These include sleeping in a sukkah, celebrating Purim, learning to tie shoes or ride a bike, planting a tree, getting a shot, or attending a wedding or bar mitzvah. The illustrations have a softness to them, depicting children who are portrayed in an engaging, slightly childlike style, with round eyes and faces. Different members of the cast appear on different pages, experiencing the various events of the text; all of the main players, including one girl in a wheelchair, return on the final spread. Hoang alternates between spreads and single-page scenes, with occasional spot art to move the story along. The book concludes with back matter that engagingly restates the question of the text and talks briefly about Rosh Hashanah.
VERDICT This sweet, accessible book would be a lovely Rosh Hashanah addition to any library collection.

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