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Once Upon a Shabbos

Once Upon a Shabbos

by Jacqueline Jules, Katherine Kahn (Illustrator), Katherine Janus Kahn (Illustrator)

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this fun picture book strewn with information about the shabbos, one of the Three Bears strays from his forest home and threatens to spoil a woman's shabbos dinner in Brooklyn. When Bubbe begins cooking her special kugel, she realizes she has no honey in the apartment. One by one, she sends her two grandchildren and her husband to fetch the missing ingredient and each returns empty-handed, having been accosted by the hungry bear. "Are you meshugah? There are no bears in Brooklyn," Bubbe remarks, and decides to confront the culprit herself. The result is a delicious shabbos dinner, with one very furry guest at the table. Jules's use of repetitive fairy tale elements will have children giggling and guessing at what happens next. The preparations for Sabbath and Bubbe's Yiddish vocabulary will be familiar to many Jewish readers and provide enjoyable and enlightening reading for children of other faiths. Kahn's deep-hued paintings, featuring an enormous googly-eyed bear, sustain the playful, warm mood of fantasy. Ages 3-7. (Feb.)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-Shira and Jacob are spending Shabbos with their grandparents at their Brooklyn apartment. While Bubbe is cooking, she runs out of honey. One by one, each member of the family goes out and buys some, only to have the jar stolen by a large and menacing bear. Finally, Bubbe confronts the bear, he admits to being lost, and she invites him home for dinner. This story is slight and the logic strange. Children will wonder how this animal finds its way from a "storybook" to Brooklyn. The bear is an odd figure-in some parts of the story he is appealing and sympathetic (he is shown on the cover smiling and waving good-bye to his family), but when he takes the honey, he is a terrifying figure that might well be frightening to small children. Yiddish words are sprinkled throughout the tale: "a Bubbe (that's a grandma) and a Zayde (that's a grandpa)...." However, instead of becoming part of the narrative, they are intrusive and break the flow. Also, there is no pronunciation guide for readers unfamiliar with the terms, while those who have some understanding of Yiddish will find the definitions unnecessary. Although some of the artwork is appealing, on the whole, the illustrations are sterile and have the look of an ad campaign or greeting card. A minimal offering.-Amy Lilien, Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT

Product Details

Lerner Publishing Group
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.70(w) x 11.06(h) x 0.37(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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