Jewish Values: First Rain

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32 p.
A little girl and her parents move to Israel, leaving a tearful Grandma behind. Through letters and email, they keep in touch, with Abby telling Grandma about her wonderful new life, the sights she’s seen, and the new Hebrew words that she’s learned. She even sends Grandma a jar of Dead Sea mud and in return, Grandma sends her some colorful fall leaves. Their loving relationship is at the heart of this story, which also projects a very positive picture of normal Israeli life. Because it’s dry in Israel until the fall, Abby misses her walks with Grandma in the rain back home but when the rain does begin, who should appear at Abby’s door but Grandma, wearing her yellow slicker? After some tears of joy, the “two yellow ducks” go for a walk in the Israeli rain. The illustrations for this warm, cheerful story convey its mood and provide concrete details, such as the diverse group of children in Abby’s classroom. Some information about Israel is woven into the story, augmented by realistic pictures of a shuk, the Western Wall, the Dead Sea, etc. Written by the versatile author of What Happened to Heather Hopkowitz? and HowYussel Caught the Gefilte Fish among others, First Rain’s plot and illustrations, deftly combining the familiar and the new, will strike a chord with young readers.
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