Canadian author Cary Fagan has brought the familiar family visit experienced by most Jewish baby boomers into storybook form so it can be told to children and grandchildren. Yes, it is a children’s book, yet it is for the child in all of us. The three unnamed children are prepared for the dreaded Sunday visit of their two aunts and uncle and the predictable boredom that will shadow the house. The aunts and uncle have no other response but Oy, Feh, and So? to any question or comment that the children or the parents offer. When the children hatch a plan to rile up the relatives, none of their antics produce a change until a sister imitates an aunt and the other two children join in, imitating the other aunt and uncle. Shall we say, “The ice is broken”? The aunts and uncle begin to laugh at the children’s interpretation of themselves and each other. That is all it takes for the three of them to see themselves in the children. The stories of their own youth are then told and the children beg them for more stories of their adventures. The six of them have found a way to communicate! The children learn that beyond the surface of each family member, there is a story to be told. The aunts and uncle are able to reconnect not only with the children, but with them- selves, as well. They start to feel the laughter and joy that can be present in life, if we only allow ourselves to see it. This is a wonderful, fun read and is humor- ously and colorfully illustrated. It would be useful, as well, within a classroom setting when discussing first impressions and the realiza- tion that every adult was once a child and has special memories to share. Recommended for ages 4 – 8.
Christine Maasdam holds a Masters in Humanities, certifications in Museum Studies and Cultural Property Protection. She is currently completing her M.L.I.S. Her interests are philosophy and the impact of art and technology on culture.