Kol Hakavod

Way to Go!

  • Interest Level: Preschool - Grade 1
  • Reading Level: Kindergarten

What is “kavod”? It’s “gee!” It’s “wow.”
It’s honor, respect. It’s “whoa, holy cow!”
Even the littlest acts of kindness and the smallest good deeds can be hugely important in the world.

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Interest Level Preschool - Grade 1
Reading Level Kindergarten
Genre Picture Books, Social Studies
Copyright 2019
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Kar-Ben Publishing ®
Language English
Number of Pages 24
Publication Date 2019-08-01
Text Type Fiction
BISACS JUV033020, JUV009080, JUV009130
Dewey [E]
Graphics Full-color illustrations
Dimensions 9.75 x 9.75
Lexile 480
ATOS Reading Level 2.1
Accelerated Reader® Quiz 503822
Accelerated Reader® Points 0.5
Features Author/Illustrator biography, Awards, and Reviewed

Author, Narrator: Jamie Kiffel-Alcheh

Jamie Kiffel-Alcheh regularly writes for National Geographic KIDS. Her many books include Hard Hat Cat, Kol Hakavod: Way to Go!, A Hoopoe says Oop!, Rah! Rah! Mujadara, Can You Hear a Coo, Coo? and Listen! Israel's All Around. She is also a lyricist for pop songs, advertisements and motion pictures. She lives in Burbank, California.

Illustrator: Sarah-Jayne Mercer

Sarah-Jayne Mercer is a freelance illustrator who works from her home in the riverside town of Upton-upon-Severn in Worcestershire, UK. She completed her illustration degree at Lincoln University and an M.A. in Authorial Illustration at University College Falmouth.


  • Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year, Winner, 2020


Jewish Book Council

A child who attends syn­a­gogue with his/her par­ents or trav­els to Israel may hear the con­gre­ga­tion say, “Kol HaKavod,” but not know what the Hebrew expres­sion means. This rhyming pic­ture book explains the phrase using sce­nar­ios that a young­ster can relate to, along with sweet, help­ful, col­or­ful illustrations.

The book begins by defin­ing each Hebrew word. Kol means, “every­thing. It’s all. It’s whole.” While kavod trans­lates to, “…gee! It’s wow. It’s hon­or, respect. It’s whoa, holy cow.” The next page defines the two words togeth­er, putting them into a phrase that lit­er­al­ly means “all respect” and denotes hon­or. The remain­der of the book illus­trates, in both words and pic­tures, exam­ples from a child’s life which mer­it a shout out of “Kol HaKavod.”

The good deeds men­tioned include every­thing from giv­ing up a seat on the sub­way, to help­ing a preg­nant woman, feed­ing a pet, recy­cling, or putting mon­ey in the tzedekah (char­i­ty) box. They also illus­trate show­ing kind­ness to class­mates, like ask­ing “some­one new, who’s sit­ting alone, to col­or with you,” as well as help­ing around the house by clean­ing up with­out dis­turb­ing a sleep­ing mother.

Each relat­able exam­ple is accom­pa­nied by a car­toon illus­tra­tion with a diverse cast of chil­dren and adults in many shapes, sizes, col­ors, and ages, and includes one pic­ture of a child in a wheelchair.

Author Jamie Kif­fel-Alcheh and illus­tra­tor Sarah-Jayne Mer­cer relay the impor­tance of kind actions, no mat­ter how small, through sim­ple lan­guage and engag­ing illus­tra­tions, which cap­ture the atten­tion of young chil­dren. Par­ents, grand­par­ents, babysit­ters, old­er sib­lings, teach­ers, and oth­er car­ing adults, will also enjoy read­ing this book aloud with its ono­matopoeia, allit­er­a­tion and rhyming cou­plets that tick­le the tongue.

School Library Journal

“Educators in Jewish schools and synagogues can pair this newest offering with It’s a— It’s a— It’s a Mitzvah! by Liz Suneby and Diane Heiman, Moti the Mitzvah Mouse by Vivian Newman, and One Good Deed by Terri Fields to inspire students to perform gemilut hasidim, acts of loving kindness.”—School Library Journal

Kirkus Reviews

“The message is clear: How one conducts oneself throughout life is important—at school, in the community, and beyond.This expression of a core Jewish value should resonate with readers of all ethnic groups and faiths. (Picture book. 4-7)”―Kirkus Reviews