Review: Daddy, Can You Make Me Tall?

Daddy, Can You Make Me Tall?

by Rona Milch Novick, PhD, illustrated by Ana Sebastián

Apples & Honey Press (imprint of Behrman House), 2023

Category: Picture Books
Reviewer: Shanna Silva

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Daddy, Can You Make Me Tall?
centers around a child preparing for Shabbat and needing help with various tasks. In each scenario, one of his parents shows him how to complete the task on his own, thus fostering his independence. There’s a message here for both parents and children. Parents are gently reminded to show kids how to do things for themselves. Children learn that a feeling of accomplishment is its own reward. An author’s note delves further into the psychological components. All readers will see that preparing for Shabbat is a family affair that everyone can participate in and enjoy together.

The illustrations by Sebastián are a treasure! Pages contains delightful little nuggets of children’s toys, a warm home, and a precious dog. Each subsequent revisiting will reveal things that were previously missed. The cohesive Jewish family includes a biracial child with a White father and a Black mother.

Daddy, Can You Make Me Tall? has literary merit and positive, authentic Jewish content. In addition to introducing Shabbat, it is a reflection of the diversity of Jewish families. This book meets the criteria for the Sydney Taylor Book Award.

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Reviewer Shanna Silva is an award-winning author and Broadway producer. She has written over 50 children’s books for the trade and educational markets, including three picture books: A Dog’s Guide to Being Human, Hannah’s Hanukkah Hiccups and Passover Scavenger Hunt. Her work has been featured in Kveller, Bella Magazine, Twins Magazine, Multiples Illuminated I and II, and Chicken Soup for the Soul. Shanna lives in New York with her family and a meshuggenah sheepadoodle named Drake.