1st & 2nd Grade Books > The Juice Tree

The Juice Tree

Written by: Yossi Maaravi / Illustrated by: Shahar Kober / Publisher: Hakibbutz Hameuchad -Sifriat Poalim Publishing Group

Distribution: November 2020

In a village grows a special tree with leaves that make a wonderful juice. Every day, each villagers plucks just one of its leaves. But what happens when everyone secretly picks a few more? A clever parable about mutual responsibility.

Family Activities

The Juice Tree is about a tree with wondrous leaves, and some villagers who are tempted to pick too many of them. Is it a true story? Or just a folk tale? Can wondrous trees only grow in storybooks?


Classroom Activities

Dear Parents,


The Juice Tree is about a tree with wondrous leaves, and some villagers who are tempted to pick too many of them. Is it a true story? Or just a folk tale? Can wondrous trees only grow in storybooks? Is it only fictitious characters who want to take just a little bit more for themselves, or "bend" the rules in their benefit? In The Juice Tree, the villagers learn that they must take care of their environment, and understand that their actions impact others.

Do are actions bear any other fruit? A Talmudic tale describes present deeds affecting the future: Honi HaMeagel came across an old man planting a carob tree. The man would not enjoy the fruit of the tree, as it will only bear them in seventy years' time. Honi asked him why, then, he was bothering to plant the tree, and the elderly man replied:

Just as my ancestors planted for me, so I plant for my offspring                                                                                                         [Talmud, Taanit, 23a]


The tale about the Juice Tree, and that of the old man planting the carob tree, address our responsibility for the world in which we are living, the friends living alongside us, and those who will come after us. How can we ensure that they, too, will be able to drink juice or eat carobs, enjoy the goodness of this earth, and, of course – take care of those who come after them too?

פעילות בחיק המשפחה

  • Discussing – What about our world? What is your responsibility, as parents and children, for your friends, family, and environment? Which roles do you play within the family, and which additional roles would you like to assume responsibility for in order to help others and your surroundings? Perhaps you could discuss and make suggestions that would help your family in their day-to-day, such as: sweeping the porch; checking in with a sick friend; recycling bottles, paper, and bio-degradable materials; set the table for dinner, or tightly close leaking faucets.
  • Doing some arts & crafts – A family tree Cut out some paper leaves. Each family member gets some leaves, and writes suggestions for actions that would be considerate of other members of the family, such as: leaving enough warm water for others to shower; feeding your pet hamsters, or saying 'good morning' with a smile. Make your tree in painting form or some other artform using recycled materials or tree branches you have collected, and attach all the leaves to it. You could try to put your ideas to practice. How about deciding to try out one suggestion each day? And if it doesn’t go too well for you, don't worry, tomorrow is another day… Suggestions and examples can be found on the PJLibrary Pinterest page – The Juice Tree.
  • Playing – How can we pass leaves round? The villagers must cooperate for the tree to grow more leaves. Games are a delightful way of working together as a family: cut out a paper leaf, and stand in a row. Ready? Here we go! Pass the leaf round from one player to the next without touching it with your hands. If any of you struggle, help by giving them advice and cheering them on. By way of celebrating when the game is over, enjoy your favorite beverage. Raise your glass to your cooperation, and the many collaborations still to come!
  • Continuing with the story The book ends with Mr. Milly's silence. He smiles, and helps water the tree. And then what happens? You could try to continue the story from this point: What was Mr. Milly thinking while he smiled quietly? What happened to the juice tree and the villagers? Did they keep on picking a single leaf? Or did something surprising happen down the line?

רעיונות לשילוב הספר בגן

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