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Talia and the Rude Vegetables

Talia and the Rude Vegetables
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Lerner Publishing Group

Limited ***

8.9 X 10.4 in
24 pg

JUVENILE FICTION / Holidays & Celebrations / Other, Religious
JUVENILE FICTION / Religious / Jewish
JUVENILE FICTION / Religious / Jewish


“How can a vegetable be ‘rude’?” Talia wonders, when she mis-hears her grandmother asking her to gather “root” vegetables for a Rosh Hashanah stew. As Talia digs in the garden, she collects the twisted, ornery carrots and parsnips—the “rude” vegetables that she thinks her grandmother wants—and finds a good home for the rest.


"A little girl’s misunderstanding, the harvesting of some root vegetables and a recipe for stew merge for an amusing Jewish New Year story.

Talia, a city girl, is visiting her grandmother, who tells her to 'bring back seven root vegetables' from the garden. Hearing 'rude' for 'root,' the confused child ponders over this while she proceeds to find her perception of rude veggies in an ornery onion, a garish garlic, a crooked carrot, a terrible turnip, lumpy bumpy potatoes, big ugly parsnips and 'rude-abagas…definitely rude.' Pleased with how well she has satisfied Grandma’s request, Talia decides to donate the other perfectly nice vegetables to the Rabbi as a mitzvah for a poor family. The narrative, with its recurring theme of 'what Grandma wants,' is matched well to Assirelli’s illustrations. Their terra-cotta and earthy hues combine with deep purple and olive-green tones for kitchen and backyard scenes. Talia’s round face is drawn with thin lines detailing expressions of surprise, pleasure and the exertion of digging and pulling. Marshall incorporates many new words to extend the term 'rude' while at the same time allowing youngsters, who will soon realize Talia’s mix-up, to learn the names of the various root vegetables.

A charming fall story loosely structured by Judaic concepts." --Kirkus ReviewsJournal

"Kar-Ben Publishing, a division of Lerner Publishing Group, has released three delightful books for young readers who want to learn more about the upcoming High Holidays. Both Rosh Hashana and Sukkot are represented in the offerings, and they will brighten up and holiday gathering.

What’s the Buzz? Honey for a Sweet New Year

Take a trip to an Israeli bee farm in the third book in Allison Ofananky and Eilyahu Alpern’s 'Nature in Israel' series on Jewish holidays. In this latest book, author Ofanansky and photographer Alpern travel to the Dvorat Hatavor Bee Farm and Education Center at Moshav Shadmot Dvora in Lower Galilee to see how honey is made for Rosh Hashana.

Readers accompany a group of children for a tour led by a guide named Yigal, who explains how the bees create the honeycomb, why beekeepers put hives in orchards and how bees carry 'kisses' from flower to flower. The children are also given the opportunity to taste the honey and to make candles from beeswax.

Ofanansky writes the book from the point of view of one of the children on tour, and each highlight is documented with one of Alpern’s vivid photographs.

The only downside to the book is that it ends far too quickly. It leaves you wanting more information about the process of making honey and how such small bees can produce so much. Perhaps to compensate, Ofanansky includes “Fun facts” at the end of the book. Among those is the fact that there are 90,000 beehives in more than 6,000 locations around Israel, and most of the honey they produce is sold around Rosh Hashana.

The other two books in the 'Nature in Israel' series are Harvest of Light and Sukkot Treasure Hunt. This book is intended for ages 3-8.

Talia and the Rude Vegetables

Talia is a city girl who is visiting her grandmother in the country for Rosh Hashana. And she is very confused when she mishears her grandmother’s request to collect 'rude' vegetables from the garden—such as onions, garlic, turnips and potatoes (root vegetables).

And so begins Talia’s quest to find the rudest vegetables in Grandma’s garden that will make a holiday stew.

Author Linda Elovitz Marshall has crafted a cute story that starts with Talia’s initial confusion, but ends with her performing a holiday mitzvah. Along the way, the reader is introduced to seven root vegetables that Talia describes in her own special way.

The character of Talia has her own unique brand of reasoning. She is a good-hearted girl who is trying her best to find the vegetables that her grandmother most wants. Full-page, colorful illustrations by Francesca Assirelli bring this delightful young girl to life.

Of course, when her grandmother finds out how she chose the 'rude' vegetables and what she did with the rest, she is very proud of her independent and resourceful granddaughter. In the end, Talia teaches all of us that the rudest vegetables can often make the tastiest stew.

This book is intended for ages 3-8.

Sadie’s Sukkah Breakfast

Sadie’s Sukkah Breakfast is the first in the new 'Sadie and Ori' series that catches up with the younger brother and sister on each Jewish holiday. And this lovely first installment is a wonderful introduction to Sukkot.

Author Jamie Korngold, a rabbi, has crafted a simple story about Sadie and Ori’s unioque interpretation of the traditions of Sukkot. Together with their family, the pair has erected a sukka in their backyard, complete with paper chains, strings of popcorn and fruit mosaics they had made in Sunday school.

When they want to serve an 'elegant breakfast' in their sukka, they realize that they will need guests. But no one is awake, so whom can they invite?

Whimsical watercolor illustrations by Julie Fortenberry seem to move with the story, creating a special world for Sadie and Ori. As the story progresses, it’s difficult to refrain from smiling and from loving these well-intentioned children—and those with whom they share their Sukkot traditions.

Up next for Sadie and Ori will be Sadie and the Big Mountain (Shavuot) and Sadies’s Almost Marvelous Menorah (Hanukkah). This book is intended for ages 2-6. Newspaper

"Grandmother sent Talia to the garden to gather root vegetables, for 'a delicious stew to welcome the New Year.' Talia, who 'had never done much gardening,' wondered how a vegetable could be rude. The language is wonderful, the humor just right, and Talia’s mitzvah giving perfect vegetables to the rabbi adds a sweet touch."--Yellow Brick RoadJournal

"Talia is confounded by her grandmother's request for some 'rude vegetables' (carrots, turnips, potatoes, etc.) for the Rosh Hashanah stew. While digging up an 'ornery onion' and 'garish garlic,' she thinks about her own behavior; all ends with holiday sweetness. The joke goes on a little long, but the end is rewarding. Autumnal colors and rounded shapes evoke comfortable family scenes." --The Horn Book GuideJournal

"Talia's grandmother is busy in the kitchen making a stew to welcome the Jewish New Year. She sends the little girl to the garden for seven root vegetables. Talia hears the word 'rude' rather than root and has fun wondering what kind of misdeeds were done by the onions, garlic, carrots, turnips, potatoes, parsnips, and rutabagas. This train of thought leads her to take a hard look at her own behavior and the need for apologies to those she has offended.

Talia puts the best vegetables in a basket that she delivers to the rabbi to give to those in need of food. Her grandmother gets a kick out of her digging up the 'rude' vegetables but is impressed with her mitzvah of giving the extra bag of vegetables to the rabbi.

Linda Elovitz Marshall, the writer, and Francesa Assirelli, the illustrator have done a fine job integrating the Jewish New Year with Talia's garden adventures. They have also included a recipe for 'Rude' Vegetable Stew as a special treat." --Spirituality & Practice Blog

"This laugh-out-loud title keeps the little jokes coming. Young Talia, a city girl, mishears her grandmother's request for the child's help in fetching root vegetables from the garden for a sweet Rosh Hashanah stew. Talia proceeds to wrestle assorted insolent veggies—crooked carrots, peculiar parsnips, and, of course, rude-abagas—from the garden, gathering at the same time nice, compliant ones that she gives to the local rabbi, since her grandmother has specifically requested the rude ones. Talia manages to perform both familial and social duty—she has done a mitzvah to feed the hungry, explains her pleased grandmother, who also gently clarifies the original request. An easy and flexible recipe for 'Rude Vegetable Stew' concludes the volume. Quirky, cool-palette color illustrations by Italian artist Assirelli perfectly convey the whimsical narrative in Marshall's first children's book. This lovely New Year's book can be read and enjoyed year-round." --Publishers WeeklyJournal

Author Bio

Linda Elovitz Marshall raised her four children, a small flock of sheep, lots of zucchinis and countless rabbits in a historic farmhouse overlooking the Hudson River in upstate New York. A graduate of Barnard College of Columbia University, she has written many children’s books. 

Francesca Assirelli studied painting at the Accademia delle Belle Arti in Naples. She has illustrated many Italian, French, and English children's books, including Talia and the Rude Vegetables and Talia and the Very YUM Kippur. She loves children and animals, especially squirrels!