Jodie’s Shabbat Surprise


jodie shabbat surprise cover

From Publisher’s Weekly. “For Jodie, her dog Digger’s find is more than just historically significant: marshaling family and friends, and with advice from one of her father’s colleagues, she turns the site into the perfect surprise birthday present for him: “because the best present you can give an archaeologist is something very, very old!” The end of the story shines as Jodie and her friends prepare the site and reenact the way wine was made 2,000 years ago (“Everyone was stomping and squishing and squashing the grapes so that the juice flowed over the stones into the pool”).” Ages 5–9. (May)

Ever wonder how an author gets her ideas?

“Jodie’s Shabbat Surprise” is based on a true story about the first dog in history to uncover a major archeological site. One day, Tzach, a puppy in Israel, was out for his walk inJerusalem’s Ramot Forest with his owner, Shaul Yona. Tzach was happily scampering about when suddenly he fell into a hole. Yona rescued him. Tzach was fine. They would have gone home, but something about the hole made Yona curious. Taking a closer look, he realized that it was not just a random pit.  He called in archeologists, who checked the hole and discovered that it had been used as a grape pressing area during the First Temple period.  The discovery made the archaeologists think that perhaps there were more treasures to be found. Further excavations revealed additional pits, pottery pieces and bronze coins from the Second Temple period.

After hearing about Tzach, the archaeological pup, I put on my hiking boots, grabbed my sunhat, pocketed my flashlight, just like Jodie, and set out to explore the dig at Ramot Forest. Archaeologist David Tanami, Riki, Shaul and, of course, Tzach were excited to show me around. Afterwards, we picked leaves from some of the natural herbs growing by the wine press and made tea on an open fire. Riki Yona, the Israel Antiquities Authority, the Municipality of Jerusalem, Jerusalem Parks and the Ramot Community Center, have developed the Ramot Park into an archaeological site and Biblical Park. They invite all of Jodie’s friends and readers to come and explore, learn about the Biblical plants and enjoy discovering the past that’s almost in Tzach’s own back yard!

3 thoughts on “Jodie’s Shabbat Surprise”

  1. So THAT’s where the idea for your third Jodie tale came from! How cool that a dog was so instrumental in discovering an ancient cultural treasure trove where no one expected to find one–another case where truth inspires fiction.

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