Editorial Review

AJL Newsletter

Cover: The Cricket and the Ant: A Shabbat Story

“Most readers are familiar with Aesop’s fable, ‘The Ant and the Grasshopper.’ It tells the story of the
grasshopper who lazes away the summer days while the ant works industriously to save food for the
winter. However, when winter comes, the grasshopper goes hungry while the ant has plenty of food.
Israeli author, Naomi Ben-Gur, has created a Jewish rhyming version of this well-known fable. Music loving Cricket chirps and warbles, trills and dances the week away until it is late Friday afternoon. His cupboard is bare and he wants to bake a cake before Shabbat begins. What to do? He pleads with Ant, his neighbor (who has been working hard all week) to borrow sugar, oil, an egg, and finally flour with which to bake a cake. Meanwhile, Ant rests from her labors but wakes up when she smells her cake burning! Although she has wine and challah, she wonders, ‘How could she welcome Shabbat without cake?’ Not to worry. Cricket comes along with a magnificent cake that he shares with his friend and neighbor and thus ‘They sing and they dance, and their joy has no end.’

As opposed to Aesop’s rather harsh moralistic fable, Ben-Gur’s telling is much gentler. The lesson
is that friends and neighbors help each other in time of need. Although the text of The Cricket and the Ant was originally in Hebrew, for the most part the rhyme and rhythm work smoothly in English.
Kober’s sprightly illustrations enhance the text using a limited palette of reds, greens, and yellows—
and delightful black lines to add just the right touch of whimsy. Here is a light-hearted picture book
about Shabbat that will appeal to young children—secular and religious alike."—AJL

Products Reviewed

The Cricket and the Ant: A Shabbat Story
  • Available in limited formats
  • Soon! Spring 2021
  • New! Fall 2020
  • New! Spring 2020

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