CHIL­DREN’S BOOKS Mitz­vah ways

The Jewish Chronicle - - LIFE - By by

IF THERE are hun­gry birds or rac­coons to be fed or lost toys to be found, call on Vi­vian Newman’s Moti the Mitz­vah Mouse (KarBen, £5). Young­sters lis­ten­ing to the story are in­vited to join in by find­ing and nam­ing items in Inga il­lus­tra­tions. On Shab­bat, Moti rests. Per­haps some­one will do a mitz­vah for him. Straight­for­ward ed­u­ca­tional fun for un­der-fives.

Slightly older chil­dren are en­cour­aged to think more deeply about mitzvot in by (Kar-Ben, £6.50, il­lus­trated Rosie is so ex­cited when she learns about tikkun olam (re­pair­ing the world) that she rushes around col­lect­ing cans for the food bank, tu­tor­ing at the li­brary and en­ter­tain­ing res­i­dents in the as­sisted-liv­ing cen­tre. Nat­u­rally, she has no time to give her mother a hand with the shop­ping, help her brother with his He­brew hand­writ­ing or visit her own grand­mother. When will she re­alise the flaw in her ap­proach? Age three to seven. Sav­ing the world in more dra­matic fash­ion are teenagers Ben and So­phy, in

Jane Brit­tan (Blow­fish Books, £6.99). They have risked their lives to in­ves­ti­gate Ben’s fa­ther’s mys­te­ri­ous death. Now Ben is in China, where he is first in­car­cer­ated in a med­i­cal-re­search camp and then forced to be­come a prize-fighter. So­phy re­mains in Bri­tain, which, with Amer­ica, is fac­ing a deadly plague as a re­sult of a bio-ter­ror­ist at­tack. Ben’s mis­sion is to bat­tle his way back to So­phy — and to wipe out the plague. A clas­sic ac­tion ad­ven­ture for age 12 up. The blood and guts in

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(Pushkin Press, £7.99), comes in sausage-mak­ing — and there is a veg­e­tar­ian op­tion. Hav­ing been de­clared the least at­trac­tive in their school, teenagers Mireille, Astrid and Hakima set off on a cy­cling trip from Bourg-en-Bresse to Paris with Kader, Hakima’s hand­some brother, who lost his legs serv­ing in Prob­lemis­tan. To fund their trip, they sell su­pe­rior hot dogs. In Wiz­ard of Oz-style, each trav­eller has a per­sonal goal, to be achieved on Bastille Day at a party held by Pres­i­dent Barack Obamette. Along the way, there is food, phi­los­o­phy – and a sur­pris­ing di­ver­sion into Mid­dle East­ern pol­i­tics. Trans­lated from French by its au­thor, Piglettes brings a dis­tinc­tively Euro­pean flavour to teen-lit. Age 11 up.

Piglettes Clé­men­tine Beau­vais

Rosie Saves the World Her­man Tam­mie Lyon). Deb­bie

Bad Blood II

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