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Going Beyond The Book - Reviews of Jewish children's books
Using Literature to Build Jewish Values in Your Children

The Jewish children's book 'Big Like Me'
Let's go "Beyond the Book" with
Big Like Me - A New Baby Story

Ages 4-7

The Ultimate Simcha

When a new baby comes into the life of a small child, there are adjustments to make. In the story Big Like Me, Benny’s mother has a new baby, and suddenly he goes from being the youngest child in the family to becoming “a big brother.” He tries to interact with the newborn just as his older brother did with him. Benny thinks he can teach her how to unwrap a lollipop, say a bracha, catch a ball, put on socks and find a letter in the prayer book.

He soon realizes that his little sister is not developmentally ready for all those activities. Still he says the Shema to her, hums a tune, and then she is peaceful and falls asleep.

“Goodnight, little sister”, said Benny.
“Someday I’ll teach you all kinds of new things,
and then you’ll be big like me!”

Going beyond the book with Big Like Me is to recognize that unlike so many new baby books that focus on sibling rivalry, this book celebrates the potential of another Jew -- one who will do mitzvahs just like me, thus connecting this little boy’s neshama with his infant sister’s neshama.

And even more, long before there was such a thing as DNA testing, we knew that a Jewish child had within him or her, the kindness and goodness-the perseverance and courage-the dedication and resiliency of our forefathers and mothers.

And so this little newborn girl will be blessed to be like Sarah, Rivka, Rochel and Leah, whose noble character traits we want her to emulate. As my Mother would say, “Fun kline vise uf”. Meaning she spoke of what was important “from when I was small.”

So this little brother says Shima with his baby and that is developmentally on target, for he is speaking to her neshama, her Jewish soul, which understands to: love Hashem with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These are the words that are understood and said by all the people in her world no matter what age.

This is the ultimate joy!!

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