The Mys­te­ri­ous Guests. A Sukkot Story

Eric A. Kim­mel; Katya Kren­i­na, illus
  • Review
By – January 16, 2012
Broth­ers Eben and Ezra are as dif­fer­ent as can be. While Ezra is kind and gen­er­ous, Eben is cold and greedy. Sukkot arrives and Ezra, who has lit­tle mon­ey to spare, lov­ing­ly builds his sukkah from old boards and over­ripe fruit. Every­one is wel­come and his sukkah is filled with joy­ous song. Eben’s sukkah stands proud and glo­ri­ous filled with the best things mon­ey can buy. Only the rich eat in Eban’s sukkah. One night Abra­ham, Isaac and Jacob descend from heav­en to begin their annu­al vis­it to the worlds’ sukkot. They are wel­comed into Ezra’s sukkah and invit­ed to share what lit­tle food there is. At Eben’s sukkah they are forced to stand in the cor­ner until his guests have fin­ished their meal, then offered left­over scraps. As the mys­te­ri­ous guests depart, they leave behind a bless­ing for each broth­er that match the recep­tion they were giv­en. Eric Kim­mel had done an excel­lent job of spin­ning this Sukkot tale. Based around the tra­di­tion that our fore­fa­thers are invit­ed into the sukkah each year, Kim­mel has woven in the pow­er­ful mes­sage that it is not out­ward beau­ty, but heart­felt gen­eros­i­ty that brings bless­ings of good­ness to the home. Accen­tu­at­ed by Katya Krenina’s beau­ti­ful, dream­like illus­tra­tions, The Mys­te­ri­ous Guests will become a trea­sured part of any child’s library. Rec­om­mend­ed for ages 6 – 10.

Read­ing Guide

Mar­cia Ber­neger is a retired teacher who lives with her hus­band and three crazy dogs. She taught both first and sec­ond grade, as well as spe­cial edu­ca­tion. She cur­rent­ly teach­es Torah school, in addi­tion to her vol­un­teer work in class­rooms, libraries, and with var­i­ous fundrais­ers. She lives in San Diego.

Discussion Questions