Beep Beep Bubbie delivers joy in the story of a vibrant grandmother who uses a motor scooter to get around, staying vital, productive, and always on the go; accompanied by beguiling art on every page, in rich color, with expressive faces, and touches of humor throughout. This bubbie is able to entertain and educate her grandchildren, instead of limiting her mobility and shrinking her world.
When a grandchild is initially put off by the use of the scooter, fearful that time with Bubbie will be difficult and even sad, this indomitable grandmother proves that life can be as rich and adventurous as ever, and that her scooter is only a tool which helps keep it that way. Fun times and new experiences are still to be enjoyed and relished and there is no need to be hesitant or uncomfortable in the face of change.
Overcoming fear of Bubbie’s scooter eases the way to overcoming other associated anxieties. Now the children are open to new relationships; no need to be inhibited, for example, with a child in a wheelchair — here is the possibility of a new friend. Literature is another useful tool for broadening experiences; a biography of Frances Willard, who fought for women to have the right to vote over a hundred years ago and who rode a bicycle to show the skeptics of her time that women can do anything, helps put Bubbie’s new lifestyle in a broader context. Beep Beep Bubbie is not only charming, it is helpful in teaching children to navigate a world where abilities may sometimes diminish but the appetite for adventure and the possibilities for finding meaning in life can continue to flourish.
Michal Hoschander Malen is the editor of Jewish Book Council’s young adult and children’s book reviews. A former librarian, she has lectured on topics relating to literacy, run book clubs, and loves to read aloud to her grandchildren.