Books to celebrate Tu B’Shevat and enjoy nature

Tu B’Shevat is literally the 15th day of the month of Shevat. The holiday is known as the New Year of the Trees, and trees are planted in Israel. Today, the holiday has taken on added meaning as a celebration of nature and a reminder of our role as steward of the environment.

IRENE: “The Abba Tree” is a beautiful story of young Hannah and her abba as they wander among the trees. Hannah searches for a tree to climb, but struggles with eucalyptus, rough pine, and gnarled olive. Her father suggests that she plant an abba using her feet as roots and her strong arms to hold a swing. Author Devora Busheri and artist Gal Shkedi have created a visually appealing book for children ages 4 to 9.

AMY: Preschoolers might start singing “Happy Birthday” after reading “Happy Birthday Trees” by Karen Rostoker-Gruber, a new hardback book by Kar Ben. Representing a diverse group of three children, the book illustrates all the stages of planting a tree: dig a hole, place the tree, fill the hole with soil, pat the ground, and water the newly planted tree with a hose. . After doing all of this, the kids, of course, wish the tree a happy birthday. The rhymed couplets and the repetition of the first line keep the text lively; humorous touches, like children wetting their clothes, will amuse. Finally, the story jumps to the following spring when the tree is shown in full bloom.

MINNA: “A Basket Full of Figs” by Ori Elon, the co-creator of the popular Israeli show “Shtisel”, tells the midrash story of an old man planting a tree. In this version, Emperor Hadrian wonders why someone so old would plant a fig tree and the answer, of course, is to plant not only for oneself but for future generations. Although the story does not refer directly to Tu B’Shevat, the themes are in keeping with the holiday and suitable for young readers.

AMY: Chris Barash has written several books for young children (“Is It Rosh Hashanah Yet?”, (“Is It Purim Yet?”), And the latest, “Is It Tu B’Shevat Yet? Jewish holiday. Here we see a family celebrating the end of winter as spring arrives. The family eats a variety of fruits, plants trees and shares conservation ideas that young children can understand. The book features brightly colored illustrations that have an old fashioned feel.

IRENE: Beautifully written and illustrated, “A Tu B’shvat Seder,” created by Juliette Hirt, is a wonderful guide to celebrating the holiday. The seder lasts about 40 minutes. Traditional items include four glasses of wine, three types of fruit, and a few short traditional prayers. with short, thoughtful poems and prose. The format of the seder is very clear and the readings will lead to an engaging family discussion. A free downloadable version, leader’s notes and a shopping list are available.

MINNA: Originally published in 1956, Janice May Udry’s “A Tree Is Nice” was reissued because it is so relevant to the environmental concerns at the heart of Tu B’Shevat. The straightforward story and illustrations of why a tree is beautiful, are perfect for very young readers, and are sure to spark a conversation about specific trees that we appreciate and appreciate.

AMY: As we think about this vacation, we also think about the arrival of spring in Israel and new guides for travelers to Israel. In the early 1970s, Avraham Tamir walked the Appalachian Trail and came up with the idea of ​​establishing a similar trail in Israel; it was officially opened in 1995. Today, Jacob Saar is considered a one-man encyclopedia of the Israel National Trail (INT), and his guide, “Israel National Trail 4th edition” is used by almost all INT hikers. Whether it’s hiking the entire trail from the northernmost point of Kibbutz Dan to the southernmost point of Eilat, or just part of the trail, this 1,000-kilometer trail guide is essential.

IRENE: No matter how many times I visit Israel, I always get an updated guide to see the latest spots and access well-researched information. “Fodor’s Essential Israel” (Color Travel Guide) offers new and veteran visitors a great choice. The completely redesigned guide includes multiple routes, over 40 detailed maps, recommendations for the best sights, restaurants, hotels, nightlife, shopping, performing arts, activities, side trips, and more. There are some beautiful color photos to get you excited about your trip to Israel.

MINNA: If you are looking for a travel guide with dozens of color photographs, detailed maps and suggested itineraries, “Jerusalem, Israel and the Palestinian Territories” by DK Eyewitness could be your choice. While not intended exclusively for Jewish travelers, the book devotes about half of its pages to Jerusalem and the surrounding area with smaller chapters on Tel Aviv, the Mediterranean coast, the Dead Sea and the Negev, and the West Bank. , as well as Petra and western Jordan. There are also recommendations on where to stay, eat, and shop. The spine of the book includes a full index.

About Joey J. Hott

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