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. 9, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2021

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Yes, the Pigeon has to go to school, and so do readers, and this book will surely ease the way.


From the Pigeon series

All the typical worries and excuses kids have about school are filtered through Willems’ hysterical, bus-loving Pigeon.

Told mostly in speech balloons, the bird’s monologue will have kids (and their caregivers) in stitches at Pigeon’s excuses. From already knowing everything (except whatever question readers choose to provide in response to “Go ahead—ask me a question. / Any question!”) to fearing learning too much (“My head might pop off”), Pigeon’s imagination has run wild. Readers familiar with Pigeon will recognize the muted, matte backgrounds that show off the bird’s shenanigans so well. As in previous outings, Willems varies the size of the pigeon on the page to help communicate emotion, the bird teeny small on the double-page spread that illustrates the confession that “I’m… / scared.” And Pigeon’s eight-box rant about all the perils of school (“The unknown stresses me out, dude”) is marvelously followed by the realization (complete with lightbulb thought bubble) that school is the place for students to practice, with experts, all those skills they don’t yet have. But it is the ending that is so Willems, so Pigeon, and so perfect. Pigeon’s last question is “Well, HOW am I supposed to get there, anyway!?!” Readers will readily guess both the answer and Pigeon’s reaction.

Yes, the Pigeon has to go to school, and so do readers, and this book will surely ease the way. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: July 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-368-04645-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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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 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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