A wonderful grandmother — “Savta”in Hebrew, and as she is called in the book — arrives from Israel for a visit with her two grandchildren in America. A relaxed, vaguely hippie woman of indeterminate age, she is immediately lovable. From her long, gray, attractively disheveled hair, visible yet discreet wrinkles, work boots, and svelte, healthy physique, she is obviously fun even before she says one word. And her demeanor! She is a unique and special grandmother.
Savta takes Max and his sister on an adventure. They are searching for apples to pick so they can make a special treat for Rosh Hashanah — caramel apples. As they search and pick, Savta shows off her many unexpected skills: she can aim and throw like an athlete, she can juggle like a circus performer, and she can tell engaging stories, all the while gently educating the children about the holiday and about their family history.
The story flows effortlessly into a short delicious adventure which pulls together life lessons, Rosh Hashanah rituals, family traditions, and some yummy-sounding recipes.
Beautifully illustrated, the book includes Hebrew vocabulary and insights about Rosh Hashanah. One small caveat: the caramel apple recipe calls for slicing the treats into wedges before serving, which could be optional. The apples can be consumed whole on the stick! Enjoy!
Award-winning journalist and freelance writer, Helen Weiss Pincus, has taught memoir writing and creative writing throughout the NY Metro area to senior citizens and high school students. Her work has been published in The New York Times, The Record, The Jewish Standard, and other publications. She recently added “Bubby” to her job description.