cover image Bubbie & Rivka’s Best-Ever Challah (So Far!)

Bubbie & Rivka’s Best-Ever Challah (So Far!)

Sarah Lynne Reul. Abrams, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-419-75898-0

Intergenerational persistence defines Reul’s tale of a Jewish grandparent and grandchild tackling a new project in fresh-baked challah. Rivka’s grandmother is “not the cooking kind of Bubbie.” At the close of what seems to be the woman’s briefcase-toting career, she and Rivka share a goal: “Now we have time, so we’ll figure it out together. It’s our new tradition: to make a challah every Friday!” Their first tragic loaf (“flat and lumpy. And pale!”) sees them troubleshooting problems, leading to a well-risen but burned version (“Oy gevalt”), and finally, a puffy, perfectly burnished plait. Reul creates a delightfully chic Bubbie wearing draped scarves and bold jewelry, and Rivka’s gap-toothed delight at the duo’s time learning together is thoroughly endearing. The blend of hand-done and digital techniques echo the book’s theme of new-meets-old, and its iterative structure underlines the idea that “practice makes progress.” The characters are portrayed with tan skin. A challah recipe concludes. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)