Sweet-Town Rivals

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Life is perfect for the candy-loving fairies of Sweet-Town! Well, except for the presence of a colony of stinky, mushroom-loving trolls at the edge of the neighborhood. Fairies and trolls have never gotten along – that’s just the way it is. But a young fairy Aviva wonders, why? And why can’t things change?

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There’s a lot of talk of the moon in this episode. Did you know that the Jewish calendar is mostly lunar-based? The beginning of each Jewish month falls on the new moon, when the sky is dark and just a sliver of moon can be seen. Called Rosh Chodesh (literally, “head of the month”), this is a day to remind ourselves that just as the moon is capable of repeated renewal, we are capable of spiritual renewal, too — again and again, throughout our lives.

If you’d like to study the moon like Aviva does, try making an edible moon chart.

You’ll need: Chocolate sandwich cookies with white filling, a paper plate, some markers and a spoon.

Label a few major phases of the moon around the perimeter of the paper plate: new moon, first quarter, full moon, last quarter. Now carefully pull apart the cookies and use the spoon to scrape off some of the filling to match each label. (We won’t tell if you sneak a taste of the filling.) Place each cookie by its appropriate label, and you’ve got a sweet representation of a moon’s monthlong journey.


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Judaism values curiosity and teaches that a person should always be questioning Many Jewish traditions, from the Passover seder to text study, involve asking, answering, and reasking questions. In this story, Aviva’s curiosity and questioning lead to a revelation about the trolls in Sweet-Town and helps squash a centuries old rivalry.

Two Jewish values, nissim she b’chol yom, recognizing the wonders of everyday life, and hakarat hatov, recognizing the good, reinforce the power of asking questions and wondering about the world around us. Curiosity leads children—and grownups—to new ways of thinking about and expanding their world. 


Browse other Jewish children’s books to inspire curiosity


Episode Notes

There are countless folk stories about learning to accept others and overcoming prejudice. There were elements of many different tales that helped inspire this story about a fairy-tale rivalry. The biggest inspiration for our team was a quote from Jewish leader and scholar, Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks: “to be a Jewish child is to learn how to question.”

Judaism values curiosity and teaches that a person should always be questioning. After all, being curious like Aviva leads to new ways of thinking about and expanding the world around us. And as Aviva discovers, asking questions also helps break down barriers and harmful stereotypes.

For a full list of resources, videos, and book ideas, check out the post: What’s Jewish About Respecting Differences.

Episode Credits

Have I Got a Story For You is a production of PJ Library

Executive producers: Meredith Lewis, Alli Thresher
Director: Alli Thresher
Additional production: Craig Rossein
Website design: Christina Rizer
Audio editing, mixing and mastering: Peter Moore
Score: Peter Moore
Recorded at Palace of Purpose Studios in Malden, MA.
Cover art: Barb Bastian
Story editor: Alan Silberberg
This episode was written by Jan Schwaid


Narrator, Rita Toomey: Madelaine Ripley
Aviva: Lyra Ericson
Sarah: Nina Groskin Sly
Etan: Cyrus Nations
Bubbe: Deirdre Wade
Tamar: Cassandre Charles
Murray and other troll friends: Tau Zaman of the Whisper Forge
Troll ensemble: Pat Bordenave