A young boy moves from a house to the seventeenth floor of an apartment building and worries about the many ways his life will now change. One of his concerns is whether he will be able to celebrate the holiday of Sukkot without having a backyard in which to build a sukkah. His mother tells him about the odd places that Jews have built their sukkot throughout history, including on board a ship and on the back of a camel. She reminds him that the Jewish people have historically been forced to move from place to place; they even spent forty years traveling through a desert. She notes that they used their ingenuity to celebrate times of joy. The two decide to construct a sukkah out of their moving boxes and a special blanket, making their new space feel just like home.
Colorful pictures of fanciful sukkot and beautiful scenery enhance this satisfying story. An author’s note discusses a debate (in which rabbis engaged long ago) about where it is possible to build a sukkah. It also reminds readers that age-old traditions can be observed in new ways, no matter the circumstances. One must only think creatively and keep a positive attitude.
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.