A Synagogue Just Like Home (Hardcover)
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A new rabbi’s efforts to fix up his aging synagogue are a labor of love—and a comedy of errors—until his congregants fondly pool their talents in this lighthearted celebration of community.
Rabbi Ruben loves his synagogue. But he doesn’t love the creaking floorboards, leaking sink, or drafty windows. Surely, he thinks, he can fix it up so it feels cared for, like a happy home! But Rabbi Ruben doesn’t know much about home repair, so when his creative fixes—challah dough plugging a drippy faucet, tablecloths blocking a window draft—make things humorously worse, it’ll take his whole congregation banding together to remind him what really makes a place feel like a happy home. Alice Blumenthal McGinty’s warm, inviting text pairs with Laurel Molk’s lively, friendly illustrations for a story about community and coming together—sharing, helping, caring.
About the Author
Alice Blumenthal McGinty is the author of more than twenty-five books for children. In addition to being a writer, she is a writing coach and instructor. She lives in Illinois.
Laurel Molk has written and illustrated several books for children and is the illustrator of There Might Be Lobsters by Carolyn Crimi. She lives near Boston.
This warm, humorous tale is ably supported by lively mixed-media, digitally finished illustrations that affirm the story’s guiding principles of collaboration and cozy hominess. . . . Jewish audiences will appreciate familiar details in text and art, but the important message about the spirit of togetherness is universal. A delightful testament to the power of community.
Molk’s (There Might Be Lobsters) mixed-media art portrays an exuberantly participatory community of people with varying body types and skin tones, and kids who evince as much a sense of ownership as the grown-ups. Final scenes set in the glow of the Shabbat candles have a quiet, profound beauty: deep faith, immense joy, and unshakable belonging radiate from the pages.
This lighthearted tale with dazzling, diverse illustrations winks to its audience (“I’ll be quiet as a deli on Yom Kippur”) as it delivers a quiet message about the value of working together to make our shared spaces bright.
Molk’s illustrations capture Jewish traditions in vibrant watercolor style. . . The artwork brings to life the water, light from the candles, and humor in the repairs. . . . Art and story are infused with elements of Jewish tradition in a way that is accessible to all readers and listeners, regardless of faith.
—School Library Journal