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A sweet depiction of the traditions of the Jewish weekly observance.

In Tel Aviv, Bubbe gets ready for Shabbat by visiting Carmel Market, where she is followed by a variety of interested felines.

With her shopping cart and list, Bubbe visits each stall and buys what is necessary to prepare a proper Shabbat dinner. Only the right challah, candles, tablecloth, chicken and noodles for soup will do. But Bubbe does not notice the cats trailing her, the bouncy verse in each spread ending with the same refrain as they accumulate: “Bubbe walked from stall to stall. / ‘These noodles are best of all. / Potatoes for kugel, carrots, and squash!’ / …and a cat from Carmel Market!” Soon a group of strays surrounds her, and by the time she arrives home they are in her cart, around her legs, and even atop her head. No matter. Bubbe cooks, seasons, tastes until it all comes together and family gathers around her beautifully set table. Then, a chorus of yowling: “ ‘Where is it coming from?’ they all wanted to know. / …from the cats of Carmel Market!” Finally aware of all her kitty guests, Bubbe “[lights] the candles, and what a surprise! / All the cats settled down before her eyes.” Cats curled on several laps, everyone is now ready for a “Shabbat shalom.” The rhyming text with its recurring refrain is augmented by delicate, detailed drawings in soft hues featuring a snow-white–haired, rounded, White grandmother, diverse secondary characters, and a clutter of friendly cats. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10.6-by-17.8-inch double-page spreads viewed at 50% of actual size.)

A sweet depiction of the traditions of the Jewish weekly observance. (glossary) (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: April 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5415-8670-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kar-Ben

Review Posted Online: Feb. 8, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2021

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A sweet, tender and charming experience to read aloud or together.

A clueless duckling tries to make a new friend.

He is confused by this peculiar-looking duck, who has a long tail, doesn’t waddle and likes to be alone. No matter how explicitly the creature denies he is a duck and announces that he is a cat, the duckling refuses to acknowledge the facts.  When this creature expresses complete lack of interest in playing puddle stomp, the little ducking goes off and plays on his own. But the cat is not without remorse for rejecting an offered friendship. Of course it all ends happily, with the two new friends enjoying each other’s company. Bramsen employs brief sentences and the simplest of rhymes to tell this slight tale. The two heroes are meticulously drawn with endearing, expressive faces and body language, and their feathers and fur appear textured and touchable. Even the detailed tree bark and grass seem three-dimensional. There are single- and double-page spreads, panels surrounded by white space and circular and oval frames, all in a variety of eye-pleasing juxtapositions. While the initial appeal is solidly visual, young readers will get the gentle message that friendship is not something to take for granted but is to be embraced with open arms—or paws and webbed feet.

A sweet, tender and charming experience to read aloud or together. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 22, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-375-86990-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Nov. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

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A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends.

Is it a stormy-night scare or a bedtime book? Both!

Little Blue Truck and his good friend Toad are heading home when a storm lets loose. Before long, their familiar, now very nervous barnyard friends (Goat, Hen, Goose, Cow, Duck, and Pig) squeeze into the garage. Blue explains that “clouds bump and tumble in the sky, / but here inside we’re warm and dry, / and all the thirsty plants below / will get a drink to help them grow!” The friends begin to relax. “Duck said, loud as he could quack it, / ‘THUNDER’S JUST A NOISY RACKET!’ ” In the quiet after the storm, the barnyard friends are sleepy, but the garage is not their home. “ ‘Beep!’ said Blue. ‘Just hop inside. / All aboard for the bedtime ride!’ ” Young readers will settle down for their own bedtimes as Blue and Toad drop each friend at home and bid them a good night before returning to the garage and their own beds. “Blue gave one small sleepy ‘Beep.’ / Then Little Blue Truck fell fast asleep.” Joseph’s rich nighttime-blue illustrations (done “in the style of [series co-creator] Jill McElmurry”) highlight the power of the storm and capture the still serenity that follows. Little Blue Truck has been chugging along since 2008, but there seems to be plenty of gas left in the tank.

A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-85213-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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