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Sammy Spider's First Tu B'Shevat Paperback – November 1, 2000


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 and up
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten and up
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Kar-Ben Publishing (November 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580130658
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580130653
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 8.4 x 0.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #642,495 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

reS-Gr 2-A disappointing addition to the series about a little spider learning about the Jewish holidays by celebrating with his human neighbors. Sammy watches the Shapiros plant a tree in early spring. The year passes as the tree grows and Sammy learns about the seasons as it flowers in the summer and its leaves turn in the fall. Tu B'Shevat is not actually mentioned as the New Year for trees until three pages from the end, when the Shapiros celebrate with nuts and dried fruit and the planting of a sapling. It's not clear whether or not the tree at the beginning of the book was also planted on Tu B'Shevat. The paper-cut illustrations in vivid colors show the changing tree and the family caring for their yard. As a book about seasons, Tu B'Shevat is marginally effective. As an explanation and celebration of Judaism's commitment to growing things, it falls flat. Try Leslie Kimmelman's Dance, Sing, Remember: A Celebration of Jewish Holidays (HarperCollins, 2000) for a more detailed and pertinent explanation of the holiday.

Martha Link, Louisville Free Public Library, KY

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 24, 2001
Format: Paperback
Sammy Spider's lesson this time is on the seasons. He sees how the seasons affect the trees. Then in the end they celebrate Tu B'Shvat.
As usual, the pictures are colorful and add to the flavor of the story. But unlike the usual Sammy Spider fare, this book talks less about the holiday rituals (of which there are very few) and more about the world around Sammy that eventually leads to an appreciation of the holiday.
Missing are the funny ways Sammy gets caught while trying to get in the holiday spirit; but you feel Sammy grow up as the year passes and he learns about trees and what makes them grow and how they survive the seasons.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Joshua Koppel on March 4, 2006
Format: Paperback
I don't know how the un-Jewish concept of a spider family became the mechanism for a series of books about Jewish holidays but my kids and their friends love them. This time Sammy learns about the holiday of Tu B'Shevat, the New Year of the trees.

In these books Sammy observes the human family and asks his mother what they are doing. The mother always seems to have the answer even if it doesn't concern spiders (they just spin webs). This time we watch the progression of the seasons and see some of the signs of those seasons. Each season also has a two-page picture showing the house and yard as it appears during each season. These act as a very good way of teaching children how to recognize the differences.

Because this is a book of seasons the story spans slightly more than a full year (encompassing two Tu B'Shevat celebrations). I didn't feel that the book did a good enough job explaining the holiday or its importance to Judaism but it seems to work for my kids (six and under).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rabbi Yonassan Gershom VINE VOICE on March 18, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book in the Sammy Spider Jewish holiday series for small children (ages 4-6) is really more about the changes of the seasons than the festival of Tu B'Shevat itself, although the festival is mentioned. But since there really aren't too many other rituals associated with this holiday, the focus on tree-planting is appropriate. Sammy Spider watches his human neighbors, the Shapiros, celebrate with fruit and nuts (eating (a tradition for this holiday) and by planting a sapling (also traditional). The colorful paper-cut illustrations the follow the Tree through the seasons, showing the leaves change color, etc., as the Shapiros care for their yard. As a secular presentation of nature with a Jewsih twist, it's a nice book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
wonderful children's book about Jewish Holidays. I have purchased the entire set for him and he is loving them. Started them before he was 3 and he still enjoys them.
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More About the Author

Sylvia Rouss is the award-winning author and early childhood educator who created the popular Sammy Spider and The Littlest books.

Sylvia has received numerous awards as an educator and she conducts seminars for parents and teachers.

Sylvia is a featured author and lecturer at book fairs throughout the United States and Israel.

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