A young nephew must relinquish some of his valued soccer practice time to attend his favorite uncle’s wedding and is rewarded.
Chafing at being stuck at the wedding instead of doing soccer drills, Daniel expresses his discontent while kicking a ball across the lawn before the day’s festivities begin. The boy is willing to be a part of the day’s event yet is concerned that marriage may change the way Uncle Eli spends time with him. Hoping to get his uncle’s attention (and unfamiliar with the many rituals involved in a Jewish wedding), Daniel offers to help by signing the marriage contract known as a ketubah or by holding one of the chuppah poles of the wedding canopy only to be rebuffed. Finally, the much-anticipated promise of a special role is fulfilled when Eli requires some help with the traditional breaking of glass at the end of the nuptials. Daniel duly complies with some extra-strong foot stomping. Thin-lined watercolor caricatures in a muted palette present a droll though somewhat unflattering atmosphere for this Judaic setting. Daniel’s two grandmothers, Bubbe Tillie and Bubbe Millie, make up a rather grating Greek chorus with their singsong, rhyming commentary: “A simcha! So sweet”; “Such nachas! Let’s eat!”
An author’s note and glossary of key Jewish wedding vocabulary round out this saccharine introductory story for youngsters attending their first ceremony. (Picture book. 5-8)