Sunday, March 07, 2021

Reviewing: “The Challah Girl” by Bracha K. Sharp. Mosaica Press. 2019. English. Hardcover. 32 pages. ISBN-13: 978-1946351623.

“The Challah Girl” is a heartwarming new picture book by first-time author Bracha K. Sharp. The illustrations are remarkably lovely and wondrous, too, so it is just the kind of book that can repeatedly make bedtime a loving and cozy time to share with a precious child.

Zlatah Leah is a capable girl, talented in many things. One day, she joins her village’s effort to make the prince smile again and takes her challah baking expertise to the royal palace. She is sure that she has just what it takes to turn things around, but after nothing seems to work, she wonders if anyone at all can succeed. Can she?

“The Challah Girl” is a Jewish folktale about the power of prayer and tears that the whole family can enjoy. It also inspires children, in a delightfully creative way, to want to participate in challah baking experiences themselves. Even more subtly, this book instills the desire to show sensitivity and caring to others, as well as having confidence in one’s unique abilities to make a significant impact.

Also, last but not least, this charming tale is able to encourage children to pray with sincerity. It’s as sweet and memorable as I imagine Zlatah Leah’s challahs must have tasted.

Bracha Goetz is the author of 38 books to help children’s souls shine, including “Vhere’s Velvel?,” “Secrets of the Aleph Beis” and “Let’s Break Bad Habits,” which can be found in Jewish bookstores and on Amazon.