When Miss Sharon asks her students to bring their favorite fruits to help decorate the school sukkah, most children’s contributions are small, light, and easy to hang. Michael’s watermelon, however, presents an interesting problem. The class tries a variety of creative solutions to hang it in the sukkah, but none is successful. The playground swings give Michael an idea — and it works!
This unusual Sukkot story artfully blends facts about the holiday (more detail is provided in an afterword) with its depiction of the class working collaboratively to find a way to hang the watermelon. Their efforts — and the solution — present a unique introduction to engineering for young readers. Ann Iosa’s illustrations complement Sylvia and Shannan Rouss’ text, with facial expressions on the children and teacher that make the events described feel like a fun challenge.
Recommended for ages 3 – 8.
Marcia Berneger is a retired teacher who lives with her husband and three crazy dogs. She taught both first and second grade, as well as special education. She currently teaches Torah school, in addition to her volunteer work in classrooms, libraries, and with various fundraisers. She lives in San Diego.