Who’s Got the Etrog?

Jane Kohuth; Elis­sam­bu­ra, illus.
  • Review
By – June 5, 2018

The pages of this sto­ry come alive with col­or­ful, per­son­able African ani­mals. The tale takes place in Ugan­da, and the prin­ci­pal char­ac­ters are Aun­tie Sanyu and the warthog. Aun­tie Sanyu builds a sukkah and then invites the ani­mals to share in the fes­tiv­i­ties. Just like the hol­i­day itself, the sto­ry lasts for eight days, dur­ing which the rhi­no, camel, par­rot, lion and oth­ers come to visit.

How­ev­er, the warthog, who is fas­ci­nat­ed with the etrog, refus­es to share it. The ani­mals try many tac­tics to get him to coop­er­ate; it’s the last guest, Sara, who solves the problem.

Small chil­dren will love the parade of bright jun­gle ani­mals and the book’s lilt­ing poet­ry. The issue of self­ish­ness, and the chaos it can cre­ate, can eas­i­ly be dis­cussed with young read­ers or listeners.

A glos­sary and infor­ma­tion about the Abayu­dayas, a Ugan­dan Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty, is included.

Rec­om­mend­ed for chil­dren ages 4 to 8.

Marge Kaplan is a retired Eng­lish as a Sec­ond Lan­guage teacher. She is a con­sul­tant for the children’s lit­er­a­ture group for the Roseville, MN school sys­tem and is a sto­ry­teller of Jew­ish tales.

Discussion Questions