Young listeners will love this story about two friends’ delightful journey to Savta’s house — and their adventures as they try to make it in time for Shabbat.
A young boy is woken up by his penguin friend. He loads his backpack, and together the two embark on fun and fanciful travels — on a smiling blue elephant, down a slide, into a space capsule, and up to the moon. There they buy a bouquet for Savta, then continue their enchanting expedition by floating on a cloud. They proceed via propeller-powered bus until they reach Savta’s home, where she greets them with warm hugs and welcomes them to a Shabbat that is sure to be filled with joy. The illustrations beautifully enrich this story. They indicate that both Savta and her grandson are Jews of color, and make our imaginations soar as we follow the characters’ progress through a pastel-colored landscape.
The flower seller, the blue elephant, and the bus driver reappear at Savta’s table, where they all partake in dinner together. Like the celebration of Shabbat, this whimsical, satisfying book is an experience to be savored.
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.