A Synagogue Just Like Home by Alice Blumenthal McGinty, illustrated by Laurel Molk

Published by Candlewick

Summary:  Rabbi Ruben loves his synagogue and its congregants, but it’s clear that the old building needs some work.  He sets out to fix the drafty windows, the creaky library floor, and the leaky kitchen sink, ignoring offers of help from his friends.  Friday night Shabbat services go off without a hitch, but afterward, some playful kids pull down the tablecloths he used around the windows, a floorboard pops up in the library, and worst of all, the kitchen sink causes a flood.  The whole community convinces Rabbi Ruben to accept their help and expertise, leading to lasting renovations for all of them to enjoy.  Includes a glossary.  40 pages; ages 4-8.

Pros:  An excellent portrayal of community with a Jewish setting that’s not represented as often enough in children’s books.  There’s plenty of humor in the story and the illustrations for readers to enjoy.

Cons:  It’s not clear how all those repairs are financed.

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