Five Fall Holiday Stories from Apples & Honey Press Highlight Values of Tikkun Olam, Community, Teamwork, and Torah for Children

Written by Behrman House Staff, 29 of August, 2017

Apples & Honey Press, Behrman House’s children’s book imprint, has five books just right for the fall holiday season. Created with 3- to 8-year-olds in mind, each one uses a compelling story to bring an important Jewish value into focus. And to help you use them in your setting, we have created a teacher resource for each book that includes a summary of the key elements of the story, a look at the values illuminated, and some questions, ideas, and discussion starters for using the story with young learners.

You can download a teacher resource for each book at

Big Sam: A Rosh Hashanah Tall Tale

Five-time National Jewish Book Award winner Eric Kimmel brings the American tradition of tall tales to a Rosh Hashanah story about employing the resources of the wide west, including the Grand Canyon, a giant redwood, the geyser Old Faithful, and even Mount St. Helens to create a giant challah in time for the holiday. But some concerned eagles remind Big Sam that Rosh Hashanah is about fixing the world, and Big Sam has some MAJOR cleaning up to do in this wildly exaggerated story that packs an environmental message as well.

“Matching Rosh Hashanah with an appreciation of the natural world is an inspired choice." The Jewish Book Council.

“Closing cameos from Paul Bunyan, Pecos Bill, John Henry, and other legendary figures (someone has to eat all that challah) show just how well a Jewish hero fits into the American folktale landscape." Publisher’s Weekly

Little Red Rosie

Also on our list from Eric Kimmel is this sweet story of a young girl who enlists her stuffed animal friends to help her bake a challah for a neighborhood Rosh Hashanah gathering, and finds herself doing most of the work. With humorous, lively illustrations, this playful version of the Little Red Hen captures the values of imagination, responsibility, and welcoming guests.

"An attractive, different take on a holiday tale." Kirkus Reviews

Yom Kippur Shortstop

It’s Jacob’s third year in Little League and he has never missed a game. The championship game is coming up and his team is counting on him, but the finds out the game is scheduled on Yom Kippur afternoon. The game is important, but Yom Kippur is important too. Jacob has a decision to make. Award-winning author David Adler was inspired by the Los Angeles Dodger’s star pitcher, Sandy Koufax, who sat out a 1965 World Series game on Yom Kippur.

The Jewish Book Council gave this story a starred review for its look at a young boy allowed to make a big decision about an important day. “Highly recommended.”

Sky-High Sukkah

Leah lives high up in an apartment building overlooking the city, and dreams of having a sukkah of her own. But there’s no place to build it. With some help from the neighbors, Leah and her friend Ari find a way to have their own sukkah—on the roof in a story that demonstrates the value of kehilla—community.

“The desire to celebrate in a real sukkah is contagious and joyous as both the words and illustrations in this story show with honesty, fluidity and pleasure." AJL Reviews

How It’s Made—Torah Scroll

In this perfect companion to a fall holidays’ program of introducing young children to a real Torah scroll, How It’s Made lets them visit the people who make Torah scrolls and decorations. Find out how parchment is scraped and stretched, how tree sap becomes ink, how a computer program checks for mistakes, and why people spend so much time and care making Torah scrolls by hand. More than 100 full-color photographs and interviews give a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at scribes, artists, and craftsmen in their workshops in Israel and the US. The Do It Yourself feature helps kids write with a feather quill pen just like a scribe, make ink from berries, make a clay yad (a pointer), and design a Torah scroll cover.

"The inclusiveness of women and girls in this book is to be commended as a contrast to the dated literature surrounding this topic that is surely still on library shelves in so many non-Orthodox Jewish communities. Also, the variety of short, boxed questions directly addressed to the reader, such as, "Would you like to write a Torah scroll?" or "Is your writing straight or crooked?" serve to emphasize the direct connection a child can feel to the centuries-old process." AJL Reviews

Use your educator discount to save 5% on copies of Apples & Honey Press books.

Planning a family program? Ask us about quantity discounts of 30-40% for your event.

Apples & Honey Press books are also available on Amazon.