A Heart Just Like My Mother's

  • Interest Level: Preschool - Grade 2
  • Reading Level: Grade 2

Shy Anna doesn’t think she is anything like her outgoing, funny, clever mother. One day Anna sees a hungry man on the street and decides to find a way to help. When she uses her tzedakah money for an act of kindness, she realizes she and her mother have something special in common after all.

Format Your Price Add
Interest Level Preschool - Grade 2
Reading Level Grade 2
Genre Picture Books
Copyright 2018
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Kar-Ben Publishing ®
Language English
Number of Pages 32
Publication Date 2018-01-01
Text Type Fiction
BISACS JUV033020, JUV013060, JUV039070
Dewey [E]
Graphics Full-color illustrations
Dimensions 10.625 x 8.875
Lexile 630
Features Author/Illustrator biography and Reviewed


AJL Newsletter

“Anna’s mother is renowned for her kindness, creativity, and outgoing humor, which makes Anna feel they have nothing in common and that she will never live up to her mother’s exceptional qualities. After noticing a hungry man asking for money outside their frequently visited deli, Anna can’t get the image of the man out of her mind and quietly decides to make a tzedakah box in which she collects her own money to provide bagels for the hungry man. In doing so, Anna discovers that it is her generous spirit that is the special characteristic she shares with her mother. The theme of selfless, anonymous giving is relayed beautifully, without being overdone, and Anna’s insecurity in comparing herself to her mother is a valuable concept to explore for children who may feel diminished by the abilities of those around them. Cis’s beautiful illustrations, often double-spread, complement the text.”—Association of Jewish Libraries

Jewish Book Council

“Anna, an introspective, creative, and self-deprecating young girl finds herself lacking compared to her elegant and fashionable mother. Contemplating her mother’s exciting escapades, she thinks of herself as not as creative, not as caring, and not as much fun.
Anna’s devoted mother delights in celebrating with special food, whether for Rosh Hashanah, the last day of school, or a cousin’s third birthday. The two of them take many outings to Mr. Reuben’s Market, a fancy food emporium that sells old-world Jewish products: babka, smoked fish, rugelach, olives, pickles, and more.
On one of their market excursions, Anna sees a hungry man on the street and is inspired to begin a tzedakah project to help him. Through this experience she discovers an intrinsic connection to her idealized mother; maybe they aren’t so different, after all.
The illustrations, especially of Mr. Reuben’s Market, are delightful. The story opens up many possible discussion topics: the meaning of tzedakah, enduring poverty and how to help people in need, family dynamics, and the importance of food in family rituals.
Recommended for ages 3 to 8.” – Jewish Book Council

Author: Lela Nargi

Lela Nargi wrote her first story in a notebook with a marbled cover that her mother bought her the summer before she started first grade; she's been writing ever since. She lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and daughter, and a very large rabbit.

Illustrator: Valeria Cis

Valeria Cis was born and raised in Argentina, where she still lives with her son, Facundo, daughter, Olivia and husband, Sebastian. Valeria studied fine art at the University of Humanities and Arts in Rosario, Argentina.