Tu Bishvat is here

Today is Tu Bishvat*! The holiday, whose name just means “the fifteenth day of the month of Shvat,” is a Jewish holiday considered the New Year of the Trees. 

It’s a day to celebrate all things tree-related. Need a book recommendation? How about a whole forest of them? As others have noted, tree books have been springing up all over. 

Celebrating trees means eating fruit, of course (and no reason not to branch out into fruits that grow on bushes). My annual tradition of Newberys and blueberries may have been a week early, but still, it was (Sydney) Taylor-made for this holiday.

*Big thanks to the text thread of fellow Jewish language nerds who responded to my “Tu B’Shvat? Tu B’Shevat? Tu Beesh…What?” queries with more answers than it was possible to include. And you thought Chanukkah was Chomplicated. 

Shoshana Flax

Shoshana Flax, associate editor of The Horn Book, Inc., is a former bookseller and holds an MFA in writing for children from Simmons University. She has served on the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award and Sydney Taylor Book Award committees.

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