Little ones will love the mystery, rhyme and repetition in Barnyard Bubbe’s Hanukkah, an entertaining read-aloud board book written by Joni Klein-Higger and Barbara Sharf with colorful and sweet illustrations by Monica Gutierrez (Kar-Ben Publishing; $5.99, Ages 1-4). Seven different farm animals show up on seven consequent nights knocking, tapping, rapping, swishing, thumping, rat tat tatting and scratching on Bubbe’s front door. Each one leaves a different present such as oil, onions, and eggs. Bubbe’s porch is a busy place during Hanukkah! Young readers get a glimpse of assorted hooves, paws and even a tail in the artwork as well as an accompanying animal sound printed in larger font such as neigh, bwak, or woof to clue them into the gift giver’s identity. Having children guess what all those ingredients are for and who is dropping them off only adds to the enjoyment of this engaging holiday book.
Klein-Higger and Sharf have given a fun Festival of Lights spin to the popular “Twelve Days of Christmas” song: On the first night of Hanukkah, what did Barnyard Bubbe see? One sack of meal. “Oh, my. Who has left this for me?” After seven nights of anonymous donations, Bubbe knows just what to do on the eighth night—make latkes for the bevy of adorable barnyard animals!
Meet the book’s authors on Sunday, December 8 at 10:30a.m. at Pasadena’s Southern California Children’s Museum. This event is part of the 21st Annual Jewish Book Festival and it’s co-hosted by PJ Library. Klein-Higger and Sharf deliver a “special Hanukkah treat” as they “bring their story to life and perform original songs sure to please the 5 and under set.” For details and to RSVP visit www.jewishsgpv.org.
ronna mandel IS A CONTRIBUTING WRITER TO KIDDISH. She can be reached at goodreadswithronna.com.