cover image Someone for Mr. Sussman

Someone for Mr. Sussman

Patricia Polacco, . . Philomel, $16.99 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-399-25075-0

Polacco’s (The Keeping Quilt ) exuberant style blasts through this predictable yet rewarding tale of a successful Jewish shadkhen (matchmaker) who has one client for whom she cannot find a match (readers will quickly guess why). Narrated by her red-haired and bespectacled adolescent grandson, the story chronicles “Bubbie’s” attempts to turn herself into the seemingly impossible-to-please Mr. Sussman’s dream wife: as he updates his requirements every week, she makes her home kosher, redecorates, becomes a workout queen, masters ballroom dancing and so on. The author brings in homey, Fiddler on the Roof syntax (“This person I’ll find for you”), along with words like “oy” and “farklempt,” illustrating the story in her signature style of comfortable caricatures and broad strokes. A good-natured spirit percolates throughout, and readers, like the supportive grandson, will root for persistent Bubbie. Ages 6–8. (Nov.)