The Chal­lah That Took Over the House

Melis­sa Berg; Shiela Marie Ale­jan­dro, illus.
  • Review
By – March 24, 2017

Raizy, recent­ly moved to a new apart­ment with her par­ents, is not hap­py in her new loca­tion. The three oth­er girls her age who live there have not been friend­ly. How­ev­er, one Fri­day after­noon they find them­selves faced with a prob­lem too big for any of them to solve alone, when the chal­lah dough they each brought home from school to bake sud­den­ly grows into a huge, talk­ing mon­ster that takes over the house. They must coop­er­ate and joint­ly use all of their indi­vid­ual inter­ests and abil­i­ties in order to over­come the ooz­ing, grow­ing crea­ture that has a mind of its own and threat­ens to take over the whole neighborhood.

This sto­ry is a chap­ter book appro­pri­ate for ear­ly read­ers. Illus­tra­tions, scat­tered through­out the text, are sim­ple line draw­ings, meant to enhance the sto­ry. Although all the char­ac­ters are girls, their amus­ing adven­tures and hero­ics would be of inter­est to any child. At the end of the book, recipes for chal­lah in all the vari­a­tions men­tioned in the text are included.

The book pre­sumes a knowl­edge of Jew­ish cus­toms and vocab­u­lary which would be typ­i­cal of a Jew­ish day-school stu­dent, but might be unfa­mil­iar to those liv­ing a more sec­u­lar life. There is also one com­ment made by an Israeli char­ac­ter which illus­trates a neg­a­tive stereo­type of Israelis. Nev­er­the­less, on the whole, this is an enjoy­able read.

Rec­om­mend­ed for ages 7 – 10.

Mindy Langer is a retired pedi­a­tri­cian and grand­moth­er of two. She vol­un­teers in numer­ous capac­i­ties for her syn­a­gogue and is vol­un­teer read­er of med­ical texts for Learn­ing Ally, a ser­vice that pro­vides record­ed books for stu­dents with print dis­abil­i­ties. She sings in a large com­mu­ni­ty choir and is an avid quil­ter. In choos­ing books for chil­dren she most enjoys those that are both chal­leng­ing and fun for the chil­dren as well as enter­tain­ing for the adults read­ing to them.

Discussion Questions