Drop By Drop: A Story of Rabbi AkivaIllustrated by Judy Stead

What a Way to Start a New Year! A Rosh Hashanah Story

Starting off the New Year in a new city isn't easy, and it sure isn't starting out very well for Dina and her family! But when they're welcomed by warm and generous hosts in their new community, it becomes a very happy New Year for all.


"Judy Stead’s illustrations, rich with festive pinks, greens and purples, are attractive and cheerful even when her characters’ expressive faces register disappointment or impatience. 'What a Way to Start a New Year!' is notable in that Jules assumes a basic understanding of the holiday; making this amusing and less obviously didactic book a pleasure to read." -- New York Times, August 28, 2013.

"It's a situation many contemporary families can relate to, and Stead's bright, multimedia illustrations track the emotional arc. A useful addition to the Rosh Hashana shelf." -- Kirkus Reviews, July 2013.

"Jules’s relatable story, coupled with Stead’s vibrant illustrations will enthrall readers and listeners alike. This book will serve as a good addition to any holiday library or collection." -- Children's Literature Comprehensive Database, August 2013.

"As Jules (No English) notes in her afterword, arriving in a new community in time for the school year can be a double whammy for Jewish families. Stead’s (The Pink Party) bright, earnest illustrations convey a resilient close-knit family . . . she and Jules succeed in assuring readers that a core value of Judaism is welcoming new arrivals . . . ." -- Publishers Weekly, August 2013.

"Award-winning author Jacqueline Jules’ “What a Way to Start a New Year!” is a lighthearted and authentic story for Rosh Hashanah that reflects the diversity of today’s Jewish families and the hustle and bustle of daily life. . . . Judy Stead’s brightly colored, cartoon-like illustrations are a lively accompaniment to the story." -- JTA News and Features, August 19, 2013.

"New things are different, but not necessarily bad. The exasperated refrain, 'What a way to start a new year!' turns positive as Dina exults, 'What a wonderful way to start a new year!' . . . this title will be a fine addition to Judaic collections as curriculum support around the Rosh Hashanah principle of hachnasat orchim, welcoming guests and sharing a meal." -- School Library Journal, August 2013.

"A fun story illustrated with cute, brightly colored art, about an interfaith family who makes the most of life’s changes by embracing new adventures." -- InterfaithFamily, August 15, 2013.

"Jacqueline Jules has written this Jewish picture book for children ages 3 to 8 years of age. It reveals the optimism and hope in Rosh Hashanah and the ways the spiritual practice of hospitality brings people together in community." -- Spirituality & Practice.

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