Review: A Rainy Day Story

 A Rainy Day Story

by Ruth Calderon, illustrated by Noa Kelner

Kar-Ben Publishing (imprint of Lerner Publishing Group)

Category: Picture Books
Reviewer: Kathy Bloomfield

Buy at

This very short story is found in Talmud Taanit 24b: “Rabbi Ḥanina ben Dosa was traveling along a road when it began to rain. He said before God: Master of the Universe, the entire world is comfortable, because they needed rain, but Ḥanina is suffering, as he is getting wet. The rain ceased. When he arrived at his home, he said before God: Master of the Universe, the entire world is suffering that the rain stopped, and Ḥanina is comfortable? The rain began to come again.”

The Talmudic Scholar and former Knesset member Ruth Calderon simply, yet eloquently expands upon it. The addition of beautiful watercolor and colored pencil illustrations by Noa Kelner provide the strong visual associations with suffering and comfort that will lead to further discussion about the appropriateness of asking God to do things for us and the consequences of doing so.

Well-written and beautifully illustrated, this is an excellent introduction to and fun way to engage with Talmud for young children.

Are you interested in reviewing books for The Sydney Taylor Shmooze? Click here!

Reviewer Kathy Bloomfield is the President of the Association of Jewish Libraries. She is working hard during the COVID-19 pandemic to upgrade her long dormant website, She lives in Seal Beach, CA.