The popular, cheery duo, siblings Sadie and Ori, return in a warm, bittersweet picture book experiencing aging with grandma with whom they are close. The threesome has done so many things together, has developed cherished memories, especially of the annual cycle of Jewish holidays. Grandma knit the Blue Blanket of the title which she calls the “together blanket”. It serves various purposes through the years, mainly for snuggling under for stories. The early part of the story shares days with grandma who runs, reads, plays, chases, cooks, sews, hosts and teaches her delighted grandchildren. Sadie and Ori grow bigger and become more and more capable; Grandma does less and less. Not only are her arms, legs and eyes not strong enough for activities, but her mind is not strong enough to remember. The duo miss their grandma of the past as she misses what she used to do for them. They decide it is their turn to care for her after all her years of caring for them. The book ends as it starts, in the rocking chair, the three curled up under the together blanket, only this time Sadie and Ori are the readers. A three hanky ending to a wise, wonderful book which delivers a familiar, real, but sad situation in a comforting way with touching vocabulary that will surely resonate with every family.
Recommended for ages 3 – 6.
Ellen G. Cole, a retired librarian of the Levine Library of Temple Isaiah in Los Angeles, is a past judge of the Sydney Taylor Book Awards and a past chairperson of that committee. She is a co-author of the AJL guide, Excellence in Jewish Children’s Literature. Ellen is the recipient of two major awards for contribution to Judaic Librarianship, the Fanny Goldstein Merit Award from the Association of Jewish Libraries and the Dorothy Schroeder Award from the Association of Jewish Libraries of Southern California. She is on the board of AJLSC.