Review: Measuring a Year
Measuring a Year: A Rosh Hashanah Story
by Linda Elovitz Marshall, illustrated by Zara González Hoang
Abrams Appleseed (imprint of Abrams Books), 2022
Category: Picture Books
Reviewer: Rachel J. Fremmer
The concept of measuring a year by what you’ve achieved, rather than the time spent, is not a new one (think “Seasons of Love” from the musical Rent, for starters). But writer Linda Elovitz Marshall and illustrator Zara González Hoang bring it down to a child-appropriate level, with, for example, illustrations of a parent measuring a child on a growth chart and a kid learning to ride a bike. While the subtitle and endpapers reference Rosh Hashanah, the holiday of Rosh Hashanah itself doesn’t make a reappearance until the end of the book. There are, however, other references to Jewish holidays and Jewish family life throughout the illustrations. I appreciated the subtle yet timeless references to the pandemic: a child getting a shot is described as “super brave” and one of the book’s closing lines being “Our lives have changed in many ways.” The the meter is a little tricky in spots, making this book one you might need to practice before reading aloud.
Ed. Note: This book was included in the Association of Jewish Libraries' Fall 2022 Holiday Highlights list for the best Jewish holiday books for children of the fall 2022 publishing season.
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