French Toast Sundays

Glo­ria Spiel­man; Inbal Gigi Bousi­dan, illus.
  • Review
By – December 19, 2017

French Toast Sun­days by Glo­ria Spiel­man; Inbal Gigi Bousi­dan, illus. | Jew­ish Book Coun­cil

This beau­ti­ful­ly illus­trat­ed pic­ture book tells the sto­ry of Mina, a lit­tle girl who was very close to her grand­moth­er and shared many spe­cial times with her. When her grand­moth­er dies, Mina expe­ri­ences the week of shi­va from her perch in her favorite tree. Over the course of sev­en days, she sees and hears friends and neigh­bors com­ing togeth­er to help her fam­i­ly go through the mourn­ing process. At first they are very sad, but by the end of the week they are able to tell sweet and fun­ny sto­ries about Grand­ma — and Mina is ready to aban­don her perch and join the group, mak­ing French toast for every­one accord­ing to Grandma’s secret recipe.

This sim­ple sto­ry speaks to chil­dren and adults alike. The illus­tra­tions are real­is­tic, yet soft and easy to look at. The lev­el of the text makes the book an excel­lent read-aloud for chil­dren ages 4 to 8. The sto­ry is par­tic­u­lar­ly appro­pri­ate for chil­dren who have expe­ri­enced the loss of a loved one, as it can be a source of gen­tle comfort.

Mindy Langer is a retired pedi­a­tri­cian and grand­moth­er of two. She vol­un­teers in numer­ous capac­i­ties for her syn­a­gogue and is vol­un­teer read­er of med­ical texts for Learn­ing Ally, a ser­vice that pro­vides record­ed books for stu­dents with print dis­abil­i­ties. She sings in a large com­mu­ni­ty choir and is an avid quil­ter. In choos­ing books for chil­dren she most enjoys those that are both chal­leng­ing and fun for the chil­dren as well as enter­tain­ing for the adults read­ing to them.

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