Book Review | Engineer Ari and the Sukkah Express
by Deborah Bodin Cohen

Score: 3

Illustrated by Shahar Kober

© 2010, Kar-Ben Publishing.

In this companion volume to Engineer Ari and the Rosh Hashanah Ride (2008), Engineer Ari laments the fact that friends he has made on his train rides between Jaffa and Jerusalem cannot join him in his sukkah at home. His clever friends in Jaffa, however, want Ari to be happy, so they figure out a way to solve the problem. If the friends cannot come to the sukkah, bring the sukkah to the friends!

As did the previous title, this story commemorates a train built in 1892 that reduced the time it took to get from Jaffa to Jerusalem from 3 days to 3½ hours. In keeping with the era in which this occurred, the illustrations are a bit cartoonish in design, almost reflecting a style of illustration common to children’s books of many years ago. That being said, the artwork is lovely and perfect for the story.

There is a lot of information within the text of the story about how Sukkot is celebrated, the rules for building a sukkah and the like. In the back of the book information is provided not only about the history of the train, but also a fun game that ties the names of Engineer Ari’s friends with the three types of branches in the lulav, the tree branches from three different trees that are shaken with the etrog while standing in the sukkah.

This is a fun Sukkot story for young children, and one to definitely have on hand if you build a sukkah in your own backyard.

Grade Level: K-3rd

Ages: 4-8

©2010 Kathleen M. Bloomfield and all rights reserved.
Books used in this review were provided by my local public library.
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