cover image Once Upon a Shabbos

Once Upon a Shabbos

Jacqueline Jules. Kar-Ben Publishing, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-58013-020-2

In this fun picture book strewn with information about the shabbos, one of the Three Bears strays from his forest home and threatens to spoil a woman's shabbos dinner in Brooklyn. When Bubbe begins cooking her special kugel, she realizes she has no honey in the apartment. One by one, she sends her two grandchildren and her husband to fetch the missing ingredient and each returns empty-handed, having been accosted by the hungry bear. ""Are you meshugah? There are no bears in Brooklyn,"" Bubbe remarks, and decides to confront the culprit herself. The result is a delicious shabbos dinner, with one very furry guest at the table. Jules's use of repetitive fairy tale elements will have children giggling and guessing at what happens next. The preparations for Sabbath and Bubbe's Yiddish vocabulary will be familiar to many Jewish readers and provide enjoyable and enlightening reading for children of other faiths. Kahn's deep-hued paintings, featuring an enormous googly-eyed bear, sustain the playful, warm mood of fantasy. Ages 3-7. (Feb.)