Daniel sees his parents carrying mysterious boxes through the snow and wonders what they are doing. They tell him only that they are “out and about.” Eventually, he discovers that his family is busy helping their neighbors, the Cohens, navigate some difficult times. They do not receive recognition for their efforts; they are helping for the pure joy of aiding others.
A note teaches the reader the concept of tzedakah and explains that this is one of the most important commandments in the Torah. It lists the eight levels of tzedakah as set out by Maimonides, the most praiseworthy being that of anonymous giving.
With beautiful color illustrations and a multicultural cast of characters, Out and About highlights the joy of giving with no expectation of reward. This is a wonderful story to read aloud with children as they develop their own capacity for helping those in need.
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.