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It's a Mitzvah, Grover!
Cover of It's a Mitzvah, Grover!
It's a Mitzvah, Grover!

Grover does a mitzvah (good deed) by joining his friends to spruce up the neighborhood playground. Even Moishe Oofnik comes out of his trash can to help, eating up all the trash, and separating the cans for recycling.

Grover does a mitzvah (good deed) by joining his friends to spruce up the neighborhood playground. Even Moishe Oofnik comes out of his trash can to help, eating up all the trash, and separating the cans for recycling.

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  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 18, 2013
    Grover, Moishe Oofnick (Oscar the Grouch), and the gang learn about helping others (doing mitzvot) and making the world a better place (tikkun olam) in this fun and cheerful tale. When a storm hits the local playground, Avigail, Brosh, and their Shalom Sesame friends decide to clean it up and restore its luster. As they repaint the slide, swings, and other equipment, they learn about basic and mixed colors and realize that everyone can be involved in doing good deeds. Even the grouch Moishe Oofnick sees, to his chagrin, that something as simple as recycling can be a mitzvah. The concept of tikkun olam and the directive to do mitzvot is simplified nicely for children. A bold color palette and an easy storyline will draw and hold attention as young readers find out about colors and mitzvot from familiar characters. Ages 2-6.

  • Kirkus

    March 15, 2013
    Can a book do its job too well? The story is basic enough: Grover and his Israeli friends want to clean up a playground. Moishe Oofnik refuses to help them, because he's a grouch. (He lives in a trash can like Oscar, his American cousin on Sesame Street.) But Moishe is more than willing to accept the discarded trash from the play area. He even weeds out the items that aren't garbage. "Recycling is a mitzvah!" Grover says, to Moishe's chagrin. "Moishe, you are doing a mitzvah." Oddly, though, the simple plot is interrupted, halfway through the book, for a lesson in color theory. As the Muppets paint the swing and slide, they talk about the colors they've chosen. Mahboub has picked yellow, "like sunflowers, loquats, lemons, and grapefruit." Mahboub goes on to explain that yellow and blue make green. The characters even teach some Hebrew words. Doing a mitzvah is helpfully--if not quite correctly--translated as doing "something nice for others." It's hard to fault a book for teaching too many valuable lessons. But after four straight pages, the lecture on colors turns into a distraction. Still, talking about colors is perfectly in character for Muppets. (Grover's friends come from Shalom Sesame, set in Israel.) And when readers take a look at the seesaw, painted in rainbow colors, they may forgive everything. Mitzvahs galore for Muppet lovers. (Picture book. 2-6)

    COPYRIGHT(2013) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    May 1, 2013

    PreS-In the first title, Big Bird joins Grover in Israel for Passover. As the two friends make their way across town to join Brosh's Seder, the details of the holiday are neatly worked into the action with Big Bird freeing Grover from a sticker bush (as the Jews were freed from slavery) and the pair hurrying to dinner (as the Hebrews hurried from Egypt without time for their bread to rise). It's Moishe Oofnik to the rescue when he gives them a ride to Brosh's house after a promise of plenty of bitter herbs to eat. "I love this stuff," he exclaims with watering eyes. In the second title, Grover learns about the concept of tikkun olam by helping Avigail, Brosh, and Mahboub with the mitzvah of cleaning up a playground after a storm. Even Moishe Oofnik participates in the good deeds by separating recyclables from the trash his friends bring him. Both books are brightly illustrated and explain Jewish concepts clearly, simply, and without condescension. Solid purchases for Jewish preschool programs and other preschools wishing to introduce Jewish holidays and practice.-Martha Link Yesowitch, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, NC

    Copyright 2013 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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