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Miriam and the Sasquatch: A Rosh Hashanah Story

Tamara Anegon
Rosh Hashanah is just around the corner! How can Miriam keep a sasquatch from eating all the apples in her family’s orchard?
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This clever Rosh Hashanah story does an excellent job of including holiday symbols and traditions while telling a unique, engaging tale. Miriam is excited for Rosh Hashanah. She heads into the orchard to pick apples for the holiday and practice blowing her shofar, a traditional ram’s horn trumpet. In the orchard, she discovers a Sasquatch sitting in a tree munching on apples. Upset that it might eat all the apples, Miriam attempts to scare it away, first by blowing the shofar, and next by throwing apples at it. The Sasquatch returns fire, hitting a beehive and sending a swarm of bees after them both. When Miriam trips while fleeing, the Sasquatch backtracks and carries her to safety. Miriam regrets her actions, befriends the Sasquatch, and invites it to join Rosh Hashanah dinner. Kimmel’s text is clever and child-centric with no wasted words. The premise will capture children’s interest, and the well-written text will retain them. The illustrations have a mixed-media feel: Miriam is depicted with brown, crayon-textured pigtails, oversized blue glasses, and large round eyes, while the huge, shaggy, brownish-orange, muppet-like Sasquatch sports a blue triangular nose and an impish smile. The slightly cartoonish style fits the amusing story well, and the holiday table on the final spread is filled with traditional foods. VERDICT Though this won’t explain the holiday to newcomers, Jewish families will welcome the engaging plot and simple lesson. This fun title would be a great addition to any library wishing to expand its books on Jewish holidays.   –Amy Lilien-Harper, School Library Journal

Miriam looked over the apple orchard. Autumn leaves were turning yellow and gold. The beehives were full of honey. The apples were ready for picking. Rosh Hashanah was coming.

Miriam imagined all the apples and honey on her family's holiday table, as she waited for their guests to arrive.

Miriam didn't come to the orchard just to pick apples.

She also came to practice blowing her shofar. She could practice in the orchard without hurting anyone's ears.

Miriam stood under an apple tree. She took a breath and blew. TEKIAH! SHEVARIM! TERUAH!

She heard a sound above her head. It wasn't a shofar.

Munch! Crunch! Munch! Crunch!

What was making that noise? Miriam looked up into the apple tree.

There sat a sasquatch, munching away at the apples.

Join Miriam as she seeks to solve her sasquatch dilemma, and in the process learns that our initial impressions of others may be a bit mistaken.

Includes a note to readers that explains how the author got the idea for this story and a little about the legend of the sasquatch.

About the Author

Eric A. Kimmel is the author of more than 100 books for children, including the classic Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins. He is the only author to have won the National Jewish Book Award five times—for The Chanukkah Guest, The Mysterious Guests, Wonders & Miracles, The Golem’s Latkes, and Hanukkah Bear. The Association of Jewish Libraries has awarded him the Sydney Taylor Award for Lifetime Achievement. His books for Apples & Honey Press include Little Red Rosie; Big Sam, A Rosh Hashanah Tale; Right Side Up: Adventures in Chelm; and Shield of the Maccabees.  He lives in Portland, Oregon.

About the Illustrator

Tamara Anegon illustrated Look Out, Leonard! and other books for children. She enjoys creating characters who accompany her on her experiences and become her best friends. She lives in Madrid.