Big Bad Wolf's Yom Kippur
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"This sweet, humorous tale conveys the meaning of this important Jewish holiday in a way that’s understandable for children. Its premise proves it’s easy to err on the side of good; each of us has kindness within, and it’s satisfying to let it show." —Kirkus Reviews
In this fractured fairy tale mash-up that explains the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, Bid Bad Wolf struggles to understand whether he has the capacity for change, and in the process discovers friendship among those he once thought of only as tasty snacks.
When Racoon invites the Big Bad Wolf to Yom Kippur services, Wolf agrees to go. While he is there, he hears how everyone can use Yom Kippur as a day to become better and brighter. Wolf’s not so sure…a big bad wolf can’t become good! Can he? Will helping the girl in a red hood, her granny, and the three little pigs show him the way?
It is a regular morning, and Big Bad Wolf is just getting ready for another day full of bad, when something very different happens. Raccoon knocks on his door to apologize for rummaging through his garbage and invites him to synagogue services. What first appears to Wolf as an opportunity for a giant lunch buffet becomes, instead, an opportunity for Wolf to experience a change of heart. Warmly welcomed by the rabbi, who claims anyone can become better and brighter just like the leaves in the forest as they change color in the fall, Wolf, wrapped in a peaceful moment, begins to wonder if he could do the same. He spends the day helping Little Red Riding Hood take care of her sick grandmother (even though he’d rather eat them both) and showing the three little pigs how to make their houses stronger. Despite the new feelings these kindnesses give him, deep down he doesn’t believe a wolf can change, because he keeps making mistakes. But as the day ends, his new friends arrive with a feast to break their Yom Kippur fast and they want to share it with their helper, partner and friend, a Big GOOD Wolf.
Sharp, sly illustrations envelop this gently fractured fairy tale in humor and warmth, while the story includes many details that help explain Yom Kippur practices to young readers as they discover we can all return to our best selves, beginning with kindness and heartfelt apologies.