Engineer Ari and the Sukkah Express

  • Interest Level: Kindergarten - Grade 3
  • Reading Level: Grade 2

As Engineer Ari drives his train to Jerusalem, he stops as friends along the way help him gather branches and fruit for his backyard Sukkah. When the Sukkot holiday begins, he is sad that those friends aren’t with him to join the celebration. But what surprise do his pals Jessie and Nathaniel have waiting for him at the train station? The sequel to Sydney Taylor Honor Award Winner Engineer Ari and the Rosh Hashanah Ride, this book celebrates a very special Sukkot with both new friends and old.

Format Your Price Add
Interest Level Kindergarten - Grade 3
Reading Level Grade 2
Genre Picture Books
Copyright 2010
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Kar-Ben Publishing ®
Language English
Number of Pages 32
Publication Date 2014-01-01
Text Type Fiction
BISACS JUV017090, JUV033020
Dewey [E]
Graphics Full-color illustrations
Dimensions 10.375 x 8.875
ATOS Reading Level 3.3
Accelerated Reader® Quiz 139075
Accelerated Reader® Points 0.5
Features Author/Illustrator biography, Awards, and Reviewed


  • Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year, Winner, 2010


Jewish Book World

“In this sequel to the Sydney Taylor Honor Award winner Engineer Ari and the Rosh Hashanah Ride, Engineer Ari drives his train from Jerusalem to Jaffa, stopping along the way to collect fruit, branches, and a lulav and etrog from the friends he has made along his new route. After it is completed with the help of his engineer friends, Jessie (a woman engineer!) and Nathaniel, he feels sad that his new friends can’t celebrate Sukkot with him in his courtyard. But Jessie and Nathaniel surprise him by taking his sukkah apart, reassembling it, and fastening it to his train, so that he can share it at his stops along the way. Children learn much about the Sukkot holiday and the significance of what is used to construct a sukkah. There is an author’s historical note about the first train from Jerusalem to Jaffa in 1892. The reader learns that Ari’s three new friends are named in Hebrew for the three different parts of the lulva: myrtle, willow and palm, and that by counting the number of times the names appear in the story, the number of branches in the lulav will be revealed. The idea of the sukkah express, the appealing illustrations and the engaging characters will make this a hit with Jewish preschoolers.” —Jewish Book World

Kirkus Reviews

The easy, flowing text with patterned repetitive phrases—“chug-a-lugged” and “todah rabah” (thank you)—creates a smooth, predictable narrative for this Jewish autumn holiday story and its historical setting.

Author: Deborah Bodin Cohen

Deborah Bodin Cohen was ordained at Hebrew Union College - Jewish institute of Religion. She is the author of many children's books including the Engineer Ari series, The Seventh Day, Papa Jethro, and Nachshon Who Was Afraid to Swim. Her books have received numerous honors, including a National Jewish Book award, Sydney Taylor honor designations and the Sugarman prize. She lives in Rockville, MD, with her husband David and three children.

Illustrator: Shahar Kober