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Penguin Rosh Hashanah Paperback – May 26, 2014
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Jewish Book Council Review
Review by Michael Hoschander Malen
About the Author
Jennifer Tzivia MacLeod is the proud mother of four (two big and two little) who has recently made aliyah to northern Israel. A freelance magazine and newspaper writer, she loves creating books for her children and their friends.
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"Penguin Rosh Hashanah" starts off with a good laugh, as MacLeod breaks the ice with a joke.
From there, she relates ritual tenets of the faith using contrasts and comparisons via the accompanying photographs of penguins in their natural habitat. The cold, desolate landscape is initially seemingly irrelevant to the lessons at hand, but the penguins' behavior is actually similar to how humans behave, and MacLeod has nicely juxtaposed the images with her text to make her points, in a warm and humorous manner.
My initial reaction was, "why photographs and not illustration?" But illustrations would have removed the "factual" basis that the photos lend to the text, and MacLeod's message may have been diluted as readers may have drawn different conclusions that illustrations often express. Of course penguins don't observe Rosh Hashanah! But that's part of the fun of this little book, as kids will relate to them.