"PreS-Gr 1-On Rosh Hashanah, Uncle Max comes to visit, and together, a Jewish family lights the holiday candles, blesses the wine and grape juice, dips challah and apples in honey, eats other traditional foods, attends synagogue to hear the shofar, and enjoys a special cake to celebrate the birthday of the world. This adorable board book is loaded with accessible, age-appropriate information that never bogs down the text. Hebrew words and phrases (in transliteration) are defined. As in Livney's What I Like About Passover, the colorful, expressive, cartoon illustrations depict a racially diverse, contemporary family: Uncle Max is white, while the children are Black and other family members have varied skin tones. Aong with Chris Barash's Is It Rosh Hashanh Yet?, Tracy Newman's Rosh Hashanah Is Coming!, and Linda Heller's Today Is the Birthday of the World, this is a wonderful way to introduce youngest readers to the holiday.
Verdict: A Strong Choice for Board Book collections and holiday displays." — Rachel Kamin, North Suburban Synagogue Beth El, Highland Park, IL, School Library Journal—Journal
"Uncle Max has arrived to celebrate Rosh Hashanah with the people he loves and even the dog is excited! Uncle Max, clad in his fun floral shirt and sideways baseball cap, joins the family to usher in the world’s birthday and says ‘L’hitra’ot, sun. See you next year!’ as he and the kids watch the sun go down. Uncle Max has a silly side, dipping his glasses into the honey so as to make the whole world look sweet The family Uncle Max visits is diverse, consisting of a range of skin tones and kippot are worn by both male and female members. They celebrate with candle lighting, a festive meal, blessing both wine and grape juice, dipping challah and apples in honey, and going to synagogue to hear the sound of the shofar. The celebra¬tion continues with the birthday cake Uncle Max has brought and everybody sings ‘Yom Huledet Sameach!’ to the world.
The text includes some Hebrew lettering for the words wine and honey, but most of the Hebrew terms are transliterated and trans¬lated at the bottom the pages, such as L’hitra’ot (see you later), Dvash (honey), Shofar (ram’s horn), Yom Huledet Sameach (happy birthday) and Shalom (bye). The dog’s ‘woof ‘ is also translated as ‘I’m hungry.’
The illustrations are bright, fun, colorful, and reflect the excitement for the holiday celebration. The children are amazed by the powerful BAAAAAAA of the shofar and exchange New Year wishes happily on the way home from synagogue. Uncle Max has clearly done his job, infusing his family’s Rosh Hashanah holiday with joy and delight." — Ellen Drucker-Albert,
Co-editor, Children’s and Teen Literature, AJL News and Reviews; Manager, Adult & Information Services, Cold Spring Harbor Library & Environmental Center, Cold Spring Harbor, NY—Magazine