Written by Chris Barash
Illustrated by Christine Battuz
Ages 4-6, 24pp, 10 x 8
Jackie and Jesse and Joni and Jae
walked down to the river one fine autumn day.
Neighbors and friends and the rabbi went too.
There was something called tashlich they needed to do.
On Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, four friends reflect on mistakes they’ve made in the past year, they apologize for hurting each other’s feelings, and they think about how they will do better in the new year.
The title characters in this gentle story model character traits including friendship, honesty, compassion, and empathy, while exploring a lesser-known Jewish holiday tradition.
"This child-friendly introduction to tashlich will be welcome in Jewish homes and classrooms and will open up secular discussions of forgiveness."
— Kirkus Reviews
"The story’s poetry and pictures are simple, but not simplistic. There are lovely metaphors, such as one which describes the sin-bearing crumbs as they “started to fly, did a charming ballet, slipped down to the river and drifted away.” A two-page spread without people, shows flowing green water, grey rocks, and bits of bread dancing together. Images of parents, grandparents, and other children make it clear that tashlich is multigenerational. At the book’s conclusion, the same four children are holding hands, this time walking away from the reader. Children will understand this image as a satisfying conclusion. What began as a promising unknown, “something called tashlich they needed to do,” has ended as an unforgettable moment of closeness within a newly relevant Jewish custom."
— Jewish Book Council