It’s a resonant Jewish concept, the mixing of the bitter and the sweet — one that abounds in Jewish history and tradition: the sorrow of moving from a place with a rich, satisfying culture and slowly rebuilding it elsewhere; the maror at one festival and honey at another; the destruction of the Temple and the renewal of the modern State.
This lovely book introduces children to the meaning of “bittersweet” through the story of a young girl, Hannah, who moves to a new neighborhood. Hannah is reluctant to move; she can’t imagine how her new house will ever come to feel like home. She misses her friends, her old school, and everything that made her world warm and inviting. But a wise grandmother and a new friend help her learn that with the right attitude, she can find sweetness wherever she goes.
The story is enhanced by evocative, colorful art, which creates just the right mood to represent Hannah’s feelings. An author’s note explains the story’s Jewish context.
Recommended for ages 4 – 7.
Michal Hoschander Malen is the editor of Jewish Book Council’s young adult and children’s book reviews. She has lectured on a variety of topics relating to children and books and her greatest joy is reading to her grandchildren on both sides of the ocean. Michal lives in Great Neck, NY and Efrat, Israel.