While Bubbe is teaching her great-granddaughter Naomi to crochet kippot, Naomi realizes that despite her involvement in generations of her family members’ b’nai mitzvot, Bubbe has never read from the Torah. With Naomi’s encouragement, Bubbe learns Hebrew and eventually becomes a Bat Mitzvah. All of her great-grandchildren help with the celebration, from designing the invitations to editing Bubbe’s dvar Torah.
Inspired by the author’s mother who became a Bat Mitzvah at age 95, this sweet and warm book is perfect for a grandchild to share with a grandparent. The colorful illustrations in acrylics on paper add zip to the quiet story and are peppered with Jewish references and thoughtful details — from the Yiddish daily paper that Naomi reads at the kitchen table to the green kippot that Naomi crochets in Bubbe’s favorite color.
Bubbe’s Belated Bat Mitzvah highlights the historical changes in women’s roles in the synagogue without being preachy or overbearing. Through perseverance and encouragement, Bubbe is our hero, reclaiming an honor that she was denied as a young girl.
Highly recommended for ages 3 – 9.