Title: Mr. Mentch
Authors Jacqui Hochenberg and Liza Kramer
Publisher: Pitspopany Press
Pitspopany Press has released another colorful paperback for children. This one, entitled Mr. Mentch, is for the seven-to-10-year-old set, according to my panel of children’s literature experts: The Tovey tribe (NY and Ramat Bet Shemesh, Israel) and the Pinzower pack (Toronto and Ramat Bet Shemesh) whose newborn to adolescent age range suited my professional needs.
Mr. Mentch’s story takes place in a colorful sea filled with interesting characters who don’t always exemplify their names (Dr. Shmootz appears well groomed throughout the tale, Big Fress never eats during the story though he is HUGE, and Mrs. Yenta only says “Help!” once in the story). Mrs. Klutz, however, needs to learn how to move gracefully.
Authors Jacqui Hochenberg and Liza Kramer expanded upon a thought by Rav Kook, zt”l, filling Mr. Mentch with Yiddish words and a gradual buildup to a (literally) shining moral in the story.
Iosi Salem’s bright graphics tempt little fingers to keep turning the pages.
The story line is a bit above the grasp of readers under age seven, but the ending suits the whole family: a youngster who doesn’t know the value of his personality learns just how important he is to the rest of society. He receives his prize at the end of a Chanukah contest, lighting up his own life as well as that of his readers.
Teach your children Rav Kook’s profound saying, “Every person has to know and understand that within them a candle burns. No two candles are alike It is one’s duty to create a flame that will light up the whole world,” on a level they’ll understand. Buy Mr. Mentch and read it to them today.
Yocheved Golani is the author of the highly acclaimed “It’s MY Crisis! And I’ll Cry if I Need To: A Life Book for Helping You to Dry Your Tears and Cope with a Medical Challenge (Booklocker Publishing).