cover image Farmer Kobi’s Hanukkah Match

Farmer Kobi’s Hanukkah Match

Karen Rostoker-Gruber and Ron Isaacs, illus. by C.B. Decker. Behrman/Apples & Honey, $17.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-68115-501-2

Once upon a time in modern Israel, there lived a handsome farmer named Kobi. He has an impressive spread of land in the moshav (a cooperative farming community) and doting animal friends, yet he yearns to find his “perfect match.” Farmer Kobi and the animals have high hopes for their Hanukkah dinner guest, but fashionista Polly is not cut out for a life in which animals eagerly involve themselves in everything from serving food to handing out Hanukkah song sheets (“Shouldn’t you animals be outside chasing things?” she sneers). This being a rom-com, however, true love is waiting in the wings. There’s a surfeit of groan-worthy animal punning (“ ‘Her name was Polly Ester—she was a faaake,’ baaed the sheep”), but the scenes between Polly and the animals have an assured comic rhythm, and Decker’s stylish, editorial watercolors handle the anthropomorphic interspecies humor with aplomb. Ages 4–8. (Aug.)