If you’ve ever read Goodnight Moon and wondered, whose house is really that quiet? then you are in for a treat with Goodnight Bubbala, Sheryl Haft’s fabulous and lively parody of this beloved classic. We got to speak with the author about her inspiration behind writing this fun update, which is filled with singing, dancing, noshing, and a whole lot of love.
Like most children, I grew up reading Goodnight Moon, and I so wish this version had existed when I was a kid! What inspired you to write this parody?
I first got the idea for Goodnight Bubbala when I was re-reading Goodnight Moon. I looked at the “Quiet Old Lady Whispering Hush” and wondered: Who is she? Is she a grandma? What if she was a “Bubbie?” And what would this story look like with my family? (My not-so-quiet family?) Probably more like Fiddler on the Roof or My Big Fat Greek Wedding—which is the spirit in which I wrote this book.
I love all of the energy and life and joy in this story, which fits perfectly with these lively and colorful illustrations. Was this what your family and childhood bedroom routine was like?
The wonderful, joyful illustrations by Jill Weber evoke the home in which we raised our three daughters. Our holiday gatherings always included all four of their doting and loving grandparents. Although none of us are particularly good cooks or musicians, we always cook, play music, and dance anyway!
My father spoke some Yiddish, so I was lucky to grow up with hearing many of these words in my house. I love how you include a Yiddish-English glossary at the end of the story. Do you think it’s important that younger generations carry on this language?
I first heard Yiddish from my grandparents and parents. It’s a language I’ve always loved. It’s just so funny and feisty. After all, with Yiddish, we don’t just carry our stuff, we schlep it. And then, we get to kvetch about it!
I am concerned that each generation knows less and less of this language, and I feel that life would be so much duller without it. I hope this book and its glossary helps keep Yiddish alive.
I was so excited to see a latkes recipe contributed by Ina Garten in the back of the book! How did she get involved in the project? Have you made her latkes yet?
When I told my dear friend Ina about the book, she loved the idea. Then, she so generously created this wonderful latke recipe. I made the recipe the minute she sent it to me, and like every recipe that Ina creates, my husband and I declared it: “perfect!”
Goodnight Bubbala is on B&N bookshelves now.