Mot­ti of Paraguay

Ella Ver­zov & Chana Oirech­man; Yael Mer­mel­stein, trans.
  • Review
By – June 15, 2015

Motti of Paraguay is the newest addi­tion to the Young Lamp­lighter series which fea­tures Chabad Lubav­itch chil­dren and their fam­i­lies who have been sent to coun­tries around the world to estab­lish cen­ters of Jew­ish life and to sup­port the needs of local com­mu­ni­ties and trav­el­ers seek­ing Jew­ish ser­vice and aid far from home. 

Mot­ti lives in Asun­cion, Paraguay and he describes a life that includes tak­ing care of chick­ens and col­lect­ing their eggs, watch­ing his father butch­er meat as there is no oth­er kosher meat avail­able, and watch­ing his moth­er make her own kosher dairy prod­ucts. He describes the vil­lages and vil­lagers sur­round­ing him, the plants and ani­mals he sees, and what his dai­ly life is like includ­ing the speak­ing of Paraguay’s two offi­cial lan­guages, Span­ish and Guarani. Jew­ish life and edu­ca­tion are described in detail as well as the activ­i­ties at the Chabad house. Sev­er­al pages of fasci­nating facts” about Paraguay are append­ed as well as a craft sug­ges­tion, a Span­ish vocabu­lary list, and a map of South America. 

Like the oth­er books in the series, this offer­ing helps open the world to the young read­er and intro­duces the Chabad lifestyle which is devot­ed to help­ing oth­ers. It is illus­trat­ed with col­or­ful, appeal­ing pho­tographs which give a good sense of loca­tion and dai­ly life. 

Rec­om­mend­ed for ages 7 – 12.

Michal Hoschan­der Malen is the edi­tor of Jew­ish Book Coun­cil’s young adult and children’s book reviews. A for­mer librar­i­an, she has lec­tured on top­ics relat­ing to lit­er­a­cy, run book clubs, and loves to read aloud to her grandchildren.

Discussion Questions