Thursday, December 01, 2016
#Readukkah: The Sundown Kid
I like to read while I eat breakfast, and this morning I choked up over my oatmeal while reading The Sundown Kid by my friend Barbara Bietz. This picture book nicely encapsulates the isolating experience of urban Jews who've moved to the wide open spaces of the American desert. Used to the hustle and bustle of the city and the proximity of family, Mama in particular feels lonely out west, where they are the only Jewish family in town. "Too much soup, not enough family," is her poignant refrain. Her son cleverly thinks outside the box by inviting friendly non-Jewish neighbors to Shabbat dinner, and Mama at last begins to feel at home. In these modern times of divisiveness, this is a hopeful story about cross-cultural acceptance that will be enjoyed by Jewish and non-Jewish readers. The illustrations by John Kanzler are also a real treat.