BARNYARD BUBBE'S HANUKKAH by Joni Klein-Higger

BARNYARD BUBBE'S HANUKKAH

Age Range: 2 - 4
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Barnyard Bubbe makes latkes and applesauce out of the ingredients delivered by her farm-animal friends.

This board book invites readers to play two simultaneous guessing games: Which animal has left each food item, and why are they leaving them at Barnyard Bubbe’s door? On each night of Hanukkah, Barnyard Bubbe discovers different gifted food, and each night she asks, “Oh, my. Who has left this for me?” It’s a mystery to the readers, too, save the swish of a chicken’s tail, for example, which is accompanied by the word “Bwak.” The final double-page spread reveals the culmination of the animals’ gifts and Barnyard Bubbe’s hard work: those latkes with applesauce, of course. Klein-Higger and Sharf’s text follows a repeated, rhyming pattern that is largely successful until it falls apart on the last two pages. There is no inclusion of the religious aspects of Hanukkah, and the only related symbol is the menorah at the end. Gutierrez’s Bubbe looks the part of a stereotypical white grandmother, down to the apron and granny glasses. The illustrations vary little except for the changing animal part, limiting engagement in Barnyard Bubbe’s world. The anthropomorphized animals at the end are cute enough but lackluster. Overall, a sweet, secular book for Hanukkah.

Formulaic but fun. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-5415-2215-2
Page count: 12pp
Publisher: Kar-Ben
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2019