Beni's First Wedding

Beni's First Wedding

by Jane Breskin Zalben
     
 

On the day of Uncle Izzy and Sashi's wedding, Beni has butterflies in his stomach. As he walks slowly and steadily down the aisle with the wedding ring on the pillow, he hears friendly voices cheering him on. But just when Aunt Gertie calls out "Sheyna kup!" Beni loses his balance and accidentally tips the pillow—off rolls the ring! Will Beni find the ring in

Overview

On the day of Uncle Izzy and Sashi's wedding, Beni has butterflies in his stomach. As he walks slowly and steadily down the aisle with the wedding ring on the pillow, he hears friendly voices cheering him on. But just when Aunt Gertie calls out "Sheyna kup!" Beni loses his balance and accidentally tips the pillow—off rolls the ring! Will Beni find the ring in time for the wedding to go on?

In her signature style, Jane Breskin Zalben captures the joy, warmth, and tradition of a Jewish wedding celebration. Also included are brief introductions to wedding customs from around the world, as well as a recipe for Mama's Honey Wedding Cake.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Judy Chernak
What an opportunity opens for Beni Bear when he's invited to be a "page boy" at Uncle Izzy's wedding to Sashi! After he learns that doesn't mean he's to turn pages but to be the ringbearer, he and sister Sara (who'll be the flower girl) shop for clothes and other necessities for this happy celebration. Things go beautifully until a well-meaning relative loudly registers her approval as he walks down the aisle. Beni is so startled that he loses the ring! Their "wild animal" cousin, however, rises to the occasion, retrieving the rolling ring, so the ceremony proceeds through all the appropriate Jewish wedding customs. These, along with those of other major religions, are explained at the end of the book. Zalben's pictures are cute and cuddly. She should, however, have been more meticulous in her glossary of Hebrew and Yiddish words: most of the transliterations are in the Ashkenazic pronunciation, which fits into the story better than the modern Sephardic; but Kid DOOSH, Sha BAHT and Tal LIT are in Sephardi instead, an inaccuracy a bit unsettling to those who know the language. I was also disconcerted at her giving a recipe for a butter-and-cream-cheese wedding cake icing to follow the meat knishes and franks (hot dogs)-in-blankets served at the reception, which violates kosher laws widely followed at traditional Jewish life-cycle events.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3Another satisfying story about the most beloved bear family in Jewish literature. As the book opens, Uncle Izzy's marriage plans are announced; Beni is invited to be the page boy and Sara is asked to be the flower girl in the wedding. The parents and children are excited as they buy new clothes, get a tallis (prayer shawl) for Uncle Izzy, and plan for the aufruf (the custom of honoring the groom at the synagogue on the Sabbath before the wedding). Beni drops the ring while going down the aisle, but all ends well as rambunctious cousin Max helps save the day. Many Jewish wedding customs are explained in the text and shown in the beautifully detailed colored-pencil and watercolor illustrations. The pictures of the happy couple are full of emotion. The book ends with a recipe for wedding cake, a glossary of Hebrew and Yiddish terms, and a section in which the wedding customs of different religions are shared. The only confusing part is in the section on Christianity; here, Zalben writes about the bride wearing white and having a flower girl and ring bearer, customs that happen in Beni's story but that are not mentioned in the Judaism section. This is, nonetheless, a wonderful selection for children anticipating a family wedding, and a must for libraries serving Jewish communities.Elisabeth Palmer Abarbanel, Brentwood School, Los Angeles

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780805048469
Publisher:
Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Publication date:
04/15/1998
Edition description:
REV
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
7.08(w) x 7.84(h) x 0.35(d)
Lexile:
AD470L (what's this?)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Jane Breskin Zalben is the author and illustrator of Beni's First Chanukah; Happy Passover, Rosie; Leo & Blossom's Sukkah; Happy New Year, Beni; Papa's Latkes; and Beni's Family Cookbook for the Jewish Holidays. She lives in Sands Point, New York, with her family.

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