4 Yom Kippur Reads for the Kids
Teaching littles about atonement can prove difficult; allow these books to lend a hand.
Explaining the meaning of Yom Kippur to little ones can be a challenge.
To the rescue: The following four children’s books help explain the Jewish Day of Atonement in ways that relate to children – from blowing the shofar and eating the pre-fast meal, to elaborating on group confessions and seeking forgiveness. May Yom Kippur bring a day of learning and forgiveness to them and an easy fast for you.
Sammy Spider’s First Yom Kippur, by Sylvia A. Rouss
You’ve heard about the fly on the wall, but this one’s about a spider in a house. Sammy and his spider mom have spun a web inside a house they share with Josh, a little boy who finds himself in a bit of a quandry on Yom Kippur. Told from the POV of Sammy, Rouss’s illustrated depiction of the Jewish holy day offers a twofer: A lesson in atonement and the importance of the spider web.
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All About Yom Kippur, by Judyth Groner and Madeline Wikler
Get acquainted with this one. It’s big. It’s comprehensive. And it’s your go-to for any and all questions about Yom Kippur. Complete with illustrations, holiday songs, and classic folklore, All About Yom Kippur helps kids understand the difference between things God can forgive and things only the wronged can forgive. This book gives you all the info you need to observe this important holiday with children.
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Talia and the Very Yum Kippur, by Linda Elovitz Marshall
It happens all the time: You say, “Yom Kippur. They hear YUM Kippur.” Such eggcorns are the springboard for Marshall’s take on Yom Kippur. Talia’s grandma has just told her that she’s preparing for breaking for Yom Kippur, but all Talia hears is Yum Kippur break-fast. Marshall’s punny picture book makes for a fun read and even ends with a recipe for kugels.
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The Hardest Word, by Jacqueline Jules
No, it’s not supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. But it does start with an “s.” In Jules’s whimsical tale, a silly bird named Ziz accidentally wrecks a garden and asks God for forgiveness. Tasked with retrieving the world’s most difficult word, Ziz embarks on a journey through Rumpelstiltskins and rhinoceroses. It’s a transcendent story that’s perfect for Yom Kippur as well as the trials of the everyday.
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