Four-year-olds will be learning about mezuzot this month (January 2012), as PJ Library sends Amy Meltzer’s A Mezuzah on the Door to families in the Dates and Almonds Age Group.
Illustrated by Janice Fried, A Mezuzah on the Door tells the story of Noah, a boy who hasn’t had a good night’s sleep since moving from his noisy apartment in the city to a quiet house in the suburbs. He is soon made comfortable, however, when his parents invite former neighbors to a Hanukkat Habayit, the dedication of their new house as a Jewish home.
A Mezuzah on the Door was named a notable Sydney Taylor Award Notable Book of 2008.
MELTZER’S MEZUZAH ‘MESSAGE’
According to author Amy Meltzer, A Mezuzah on the Door was borne of her own perceived lack of children’s books on the topic. In a radio interview with The Book of Life, Meltzer tells of how she, a first- and second-grade teacher, could not find sufficient literature about the topic of the mezuzah. “I got the idea, ‘Boy, someone should write a book about a mezuzah,’” she says, “and that slowly transformed to, ‘I should write a book about mezuzahs.’”
In a blogpost written for Kveller.com, Meltzer further explains that prior to writing A Mezuzah on the Door, she thought a lot about the book’s “message.”
“What did I want children to learn from the book?” she writes. “Not only did I want to impart information about what a mezuzah is, but I wanted to open children to the possibility that it might be exciting and meaningful to have their very own ritual object -- one that was just theirs, in their very own room.”
PARENTS & MEZUZOT
Meltzer’s inspirations have paid off, as A Mezuzah on the Door has been shown to connect with Jewish families in a number of key ways.
According to the results of one PJ Library Parent Survey, Meltzer’s book led multiple families hanging mezuzot. Many others reported beginning mezuzah projects with their children.
And speaking of mezuzot projects for children … Kveller.com writer Joanna Brichetto points out in her article, “Make a Mezuzah,” that craft projects can be fun for children of most any age. For example, she offers two fun mezuzah craft projects:
Rachel Teichman also offers mezuzah craft instructions for children. Hers is a tin mezuzah craft idea.
SHALOM SESAME & MEZUZOT
Want more on the topic of mezuzot? Shalom Sesame offers a cute YouTube video posted about Dan, a 7-year-old boy, who is moving into a new home -- a new home that will soon need a mezuzah!
Watch the video here:
« RETURN TO THE PJ LIBRARY BLOG’S HOME
January 17, 2012