Tu B’Shevat is a Jewish festival that celebrates a new year for trees just before the start of spring. It’s sometimes referred to as the trees birthday and we celebrate by taking part in different tree-related activities. These can include eating foods made with the seven species (wheat, barley, grape, fig, olive, date and pomegranate) and planting new trees.
Here are a few books that we have been reading to help us celebrate:
It’s Tu B’Shevat by Edie Stoltz Zolkower, illustrated by Richard Johnson and published by Kar-Ben Publishing.
Written in rhyme and full of sentiment, this book follows a family planting a tree for Tu B’Shevat and returning to it each year to see how it has grown, use it for shade and enjoy its fruit. As the tree grows so does the family as they continue to celebrate and make use of the tree. A wonderful celebration of trees full of beautiful and warm illustrations.
Dear Tree by Doba Rivka Weber, illustrated by Phyllis Saroff and published by Hachai Publishing.
In this book a young boy addresses the trees with his wishes for the year ahead. He asks for all the things that help trees grow as well as the things they provide. He makes a promise to look after and take care of the tree whilst wishing all the trees a happy new year. The illustrations are beautifully detailed, a perfect celebration of the beauty of nature. A great way to teach children about the importance of trees and our responsibilities towards the environment.
The Lumberjack’s Beard by Duncan Beedie, published by Templar Publishing.
This book isn’t written specifically for Tu B’Shevat but it is a perfect book for the festival. Jim Hickory is a hard working lumberjack who realises the effects of his work on the forest wildlife when he is faced with some small homeless animals. After rehoming them in his beard fails he decides to replant the forest. A beautiful picture book with a really important message about caring for our environment. You can read our full review here.