Behrman House Online Store

Maddie the Mitzvah Clown

ISBN: 978-1-68115-523-4
SKU: H523
Price: $17.95 In stock
Average: 0
(0 votes)

Join Maddie as she discovers her confidence when she decides to become a mitzvah clown in order to bring smiles to the faces of Grandma and Grandma s friends.
When Maddie sees Giggles the mitzvah clown perform at her Grandma s senior home, she decides to join in! She puts on a big red nose and learns how to make balloon animals, sing songs, and most importantly, bring smiles and happiness to Grandma and Grandma s friends. Along the way, Maddie learns how to overcome her shyness, too, and become a more confident and happy mouse. 
A cheerful picture book, young readers will enjoy watching how the illustrations begin in black and white, and evolve into full and exuberant color as Maddie gains her confidence. A family note at the end includes discussion starters and a description of the Jewish values found in the tale.

Reviews for Maddie the Mitzvah Clown

"Maddie, a young mouse, loses her shyness when she realizes that she can make others laugh.She sees the joy on Grandma's friends' faces as Giggles the Mitzvah Clown performs at their senior home. He includes Maddie as he makes balloon hats, entertains with juggling, songs, and dances, and, most importantly, talks with everyone. She asks: "Can shy mice become mitzvah clowns?" and Giggles assures her that anyone can learn. Initially mostly gray-toned, the paintings with collage elements include more and more bits of color as Giggles introduces Maddie to the tools of the trade (balloons, rainbow wig, red nose), changing to full color as she takes on her new role. She dons a red wig, pink tutu, and purple, squeaking shoes, names herself "Squeakers," and begins her visits. Her confidence buoyed by her activities in disguise, she finally makes the biggest change of all: she speaks as Maddie herself to Grandma's friends. What seems like a didactic story improves along the way as the engaging illustrations involve readers and Maddie's transformation takes place. In real life, young people (usually teens) can learn to be mitzvah clowns and bring joy to others in this special way. This activity and other ways to do good deeds are described in "A Note to Families," but no specific references are provided. A different way to give back to the community (and help oneself), this cheery outing should not be confined to its Jewish context."
Kirkus Reviews

"Maddie the Mitzvah Clown is a delightful story with endearing illustrations...not only will children respond to the charm of the story and artwork, but but will see that reaching out as one reaches in can lead to self-confidence and loving acts of kindness."
Margery Cuyler, author of The Purim Chicken

:Maddie figures out a way to overcome her shyness and help others, too, in this engaging story with delightful illustrations and a sweet message."
Barbara Diamond Goldin, author of The Passover Cowboy

"Clowns and Purim often go together, but becoming a “mitzvah clown” is a new thing. Some national Jewish youth-oriented organizations are encouraging teens to clown around (in costume) at adult senior homes and children’s hospitals instead of engaging in typical mitzvah-themed activities such as visiting soup kitchens. They say that entertaining others in this way also helps shy teens become more comfortable in social situations in general. This picture book expands on that idea through the story of Maddie, a shy mouse who loses her inhibitions after learning the art of clowning when she performs the mitzvah of bikur cholim (visiting the sick) at a senior convalescent home."
Jewish Journal

"I absolutely love both the story and art portrayed in this book and recommend it highly for children of any religion. Maddie has a universal problem and finds an absolutely clever and inspiring way to over come her character flaw. She is a believable and engaging character who many children will be able to identify with. While this satisfying and brightly-illustrated story nods to the Jewish faith in that Maddie does a mitzvah (good deed done as a religious duty), the plot boils down to a child wanting to overcome her shyness and make her Grandmother and friends laugh. It is no surprise to me that PJ Library has recently commissioned 20,000 of this wonderful book to be shared with Jewish families across the U.S. It's an absolutely wonderful book and everyone should take the time to read it, Jewish or not!"
Lynne Marie, blogger at Literally Lynne Marie

"The sadness of shyness and the seriousness of mitzvot mix in a charming picture book. This warm animal tale introduces children to the kindness of visiting the aged...The ending is happiness all around: for Grandma and friends, for the Mitzvah Clown who tutored Maddie and mostly for Maddie who finds inner strength, self-confidence and the will to do good in the world. The illustrations are as happy, energetic and bouncy as the characters they portray. The story opens in grey tones when Maddie is shy, then explodes into riotous color when she works toward her goal and conquers shyness through disguise."
Association of Jewish Libraries

"The book exudes love as the reader feels Maddie gain confidence and strengthen her sense of self. The story is followed by a note explaining what a mitzvah is and what a Mitzvah Clown does. It gives readers some suggestions for performing mitzvot of their own. The book is perfect for individual reading but would also be excellent for school units relating to mitzvot, Purim, grandparents, and aging, and would be useful for encouraging shy children to gain confidence. It makes an excellent read-aloud. 

"The illustrations are as endearing as the story. The illustrator begins with grays, adding bits of color gradually as Maddie begins to gain confidence. By the time Maddie is fully confident, the illustrations are multicolored and filled with happy-looking mice."
Jewish Book Council

or register to post comments

Shopping Cart

There are no products in your shopping cart.

0 Items $0.00