Levin Kipnis was a highly prolific Israeli children’s author and “Six in a Little Bag” is the classic Israeli children’s book for Tu Bishvat / Tu B’Shevat (טו בשבט), the Jewish holiday celebrating the new year for trees. The book begins with a boy, Gili, losing his bag as it blows out the window of his home. Unbeknownst to Gili, various anthropomorphized nuts and fruit that are commonly eaten in Israel for Tu Bishvat climb into the bag. The next day, Gili is delighted to recover his bag and discover that it is filled with these Tu Bishvat treats. The book uses repetition, rhyme, and nonsense words to introduce each nut and fruit (almond, date palm, carob, fig, banana, and orange). The pictures are painted in a mid-20th century style of Israeli illustration. The illustrations of Gili’s clothing and house also charmingly reflect the way of life in the early establishment of Israel.
The book is highly repetitive and, thus, perfect for a toddler. Our toddler enjoys helping us to narrate the book and he especially enjoys the use of rhyming, nonsense adjectives to describe each nut and fruit. The book is perfect for toddlers (ages 2 to 3).
Due to the repetitiveness in the book, I would rate the Hebrew as easy to follow for a non-native Hebrew speaker parent with at least an introductory ulpan level Hebrew (i.e., some knowledge of modern Hebrew beyond the Bar/Bat Mitzvah). The only caveat to this assessment is that “Six in a Bag” does have some words that are not currently used that often in Hebrew in Israel.