The Very Best Sukkah: A Story from Uganda

(Author) (Illustrator)
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Product Details
Price
$19.99  $18.59
Publisher
Kalaniot Books
Publish Date
Pages
32
Dimensions
9.35 X 9.32 X 0.32 inches | 0.78 pounds
Language
English
Type
Hardcover
EAN/UPC
9781735087580

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About the Author
Shoshana Nambi grew up in the Abayudaya Jewish community in the eastern part of Uganda. When she finishes her rabbinical training in 2024, she will be the first female rabbi in Uganda. This is her debut book.
Reviews
Diverse Jewish High Holiday Books Your Family Needs I love the work of Israeli-Ethiopian illustrator Moran Yogev and am so glad it gets to adorn this special book about Uganda's Abayudaya Jewish community. This book tells the story of Shoshi, who has a competitive spirit and who loves the holiday of Sukkot -- and who enters the community's annual sukkah contest for the very best sukkah. When one fellow family's sukkah gets ruined, she and the rest of the community learn a valuable lesson. This book is a great way to teach your kids about the Abayudaya Jews, the beauty of Sukkot, and the value of teamwork and community.--Lior Zaltzman "Kveller, September 19, 2022"
Sukkot is coming to the small Ugandan Abayudaya Jewish community. We share the fun with super competitive Shoshi and her two brothers as they build their own sukkah, hoping theirs wins the annual village competition. The vibrant linoleum cut artwork brings the reader right into life in the village, showing us the natural environment and day to day lives of the people. When a wild storm comes through the night before Sukkot, it damages all the huts, totally destroying the challenging front runner's sukkah. The whole village rallies, helping to rebuild this one, which wins the contest. But Shoshi doesn't mind, her competitive streak has mellowed as she learns, "Everyone wins when neighbors work together". Generous backmatter includes a history of the Abayudaya Jewish community, a glossary of Luganda words used in the text and the lovely bonus of the Luganda text of Hinei Ma Tov. Their rabbi's teaching about the lulav, with its three different types of branches laced together, much as people are joined together in a community, is a wonderful message of hope for our world. The Very Best Sukkah meets all the requirements for consideration for a Sydney Taylor Book Award. Of most significance, the author is a member of the Ugandan Abayudaya Jewish community and is able to bring this world to life accurately in a way children can easily relate to. The writing is clear and appropriate for the target audience in a smooth style, helping to bridge cultural differences. The pictures are vivid and engaging, helping to make foods, animals, plants and other unfamiliar items mentioned in the text easy to visualize. It is consistent in its positive Jewish religious content surrounding Shabbat and the holiday of Sukkot with details unique to this community. This book was included in the Association of Jewish Libraries' Fall 2022 Holiday Highlights list for the best Jewish holiday books for children of the fall 2022 publishing season.--Suzanne Grossman, Reviewer, Association of Jewish Libraries "Association of Jewish Libraries / Syndey Taylor Shmooze, September 30,2022"
This touching story highlights the author's experience as a member of the Abayudaya Jewish community in the Eastern part of Uganda and how each family builds their own unique sukkah to celebrate the joyous holiday of Sukkot. Everyone wants to have the best sukkah, but in the end it's how the community helps one another that inspire readers. The illustrations are bold, bright, and beautiful, capturing the spirit of Abayudaya. Don't miss the author's note on how this community came to practice Judaism and the acknowledgment of their trials, tribulations, and halachic issues.--Liza Wiemer "Jewish Chronicle, September 11, 2022"
In this heartwarming story, kids are introduced to the customs and traditions of the Abayudaya, a small community of deeply religious Jews in rural Uganda. The folk-like tale is told through the voice of Shoshi, a spirited girl, who, with her younger brother, David, live with their grandparents. As Sukkot approaches, Shoshi is worried that another family's sukkah will win the community's contest for best sukkah. When a storm damages that family's sukkah, Shoshi, David, and the other villagers pitch in to repair it. They realize that the true meaning of Sukkot is in the bonds that tie their community together. Author Nambi, who grew up in the Abayudaya community and is now a rabbinical student in the U.S., deserves high praise for broadening the global lens of what it means and looks like to be Jewish.--Penny Schwartz "Jewish Journal, September 22, 2022"