Bubbe Isabel­la and the Sukkot Cake

Ker­ry Ter­williger; Phyl­lis Hor­nung, illus.
  • Review
By – August 3, 2012
After Bubbe Isabel­la picks the last of her veg­eta­bles, she builds and dec­o­rates a sukkah. To cel­e­brate Sukkot, she bakes a lemon cake, but has no one to share it with. Singing a wel­com­ing song each evening, Bubbe Isabel­la attracts some local ani­mals and bugs, who are not inter­est­ed in tast­ing her lemon cake but enjoy feast­ing on oth­er parts of her sukkah. Near the end of the hol­i­day, when her sukkah has become bare after being nib­bled at by many ani­mals, a young boy vis­its and uses what’s left of her sukkah to make a flag for him to cel­e­brate Sim­chat Torah. Phyl­lis Horning’s mut­ed col­or illus­tra­tions of friend­ly ani­mals evoke crisp fall evenings and are a nice match to Terwilliger’s sto­ry. This will be a great read-aloud for preschool­ers and pri­ma­ry grade stu­dents, who will appre­ci­ate the adorable illus­tra­tions of the ani­mal vis­i­tors to the sukkah and will laugh out loud when a bear inad­ver­tent­ly sits on the lemon cake. An intro­duc­tion nice­ly explains the mean­ing of Sukkot and its con­nec­tion to Sim­chat Torah. High­ly rec­om­mend­ed for school and syn­a­gogue libraries.

Read­ing Guide

Aimee Lurie, for­mer­ly a teen ser­vices librar­i­an at the Cuya­hoga Coun­ty Pub­lic Library, is the librar­i­an of Agnon School, a Jew­ish day school in Beach­wood, Ohio. She has a BA from Ohio State Uni­ver­si­ty and received her MLS from Kent State University.

Discussion Questions