Rosie Saves the World

Deb­bie Her­man; Tam­mie Lyon, illus.
  • Review
By – June 22, 2017

Rosie Saves the Word is a charm­ing pic­ture book that teach­es chil­dren about the Jew­ish con­cepts of tikkun olam, repair of the world; tzedakah, char­i­ty; mitzvot, good deeds; and areyvut, help­ing our own fam­i­ly and community.

After learn­ing about mitzvot in reli­gious school, Rosie decides she wants to save the world. She col­lects cans for the food pantry, sings to seniors, and pam­pers pets at the shel­ter — but while she’s busy help­ing oth­ers, Rosie neglects her own fam­i­ly. She doesn’t help her moth­er with the gro­ceries, teach her broth­er how to write his Hebrew let­ters, or vis­it her own grand­moth­er. After assist­ing a neigh­bor with her cranky baby, Rosie real­izes that she has over­looked her own fam­i­ly and goes home to help with the most impor­tant mitz­vah project of all — Oper­a­tion Fam­i­ly Comes First.

Through sim­ple lan­guage and engag­ing illus­tra­tions, Deb­bie Her­man and Tam­mie Lyon teach a very impor­tant les­son with­out being preachy. Rosie, who is adorable with her curly hair and bright red glass­es, enthu­si­as­ti­cal­ly demon­strates to young read­ers lots of ways to repair the world,” both in their homes and on their way.”

The book con­cludes with an expla­na­tion of the Jew­ish con­cept of areyvut, how all Jews are respon­si­ble for one anoth­er, not just the world at large, but for our own fam­i­lies. Wouldn’t the world be a bet­ter place if we all took Rosie’s les­son to heart?

High­ly rec­om­mend­ed for chil­dren ages 4 to 8, their par­ents, and their reli­gious school classes.

Paula Chaiken has worked in a vari­ety of capac­i­ties in the Jew­ish world — teach­ing in reli­gious school, curat­ing at the Sper­tus Muse­um and fundrais­ing for the Fed­er­a­tion — for more than twen­ty years. She also runs a bou­tique pub­lic rela­tions con­sult­ing firm and enjoys read­ing all sorts of books with her three sons.

Discussion Questions