Sarah Aronson, author
Sarah Aronson is the author of Just Like Rube Goldberg, the middle grade series, The Wish List, and YA novels Head Case, Beyond Lucky, and Believe. She holds an MFA in writing for children and young adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts.
Read more about Sarah.
Ariel Landry, illustrator
Ariel Landy is an educator and illustrator of books for children, including This is the Church and The Riddle of the Wild Dogs. Landy began writing and illustrating stories as soon as she could hold a pencil and she never stopped. She currently lives in France with her husband and their dog, Sid.
Read more about Ariel.
- Coming soon!
Jillian likes her new stepfather but isn’t sure about her new grandmother.
Bubbe, Yiddish for grandmother, is very loving, but Jillian does not appreciate this affection. She already has two grandmas—Gram and Noni—and a great-grandma. She doesn’t need a person who gives lipstick-laden kisses and introduces new holidays and words (kvelling and kvetching) she doesn’t understand. When her mom insists that Jillian “give Bubbe a chance,” Jillian, tan-skinned with brown hair, reluctantly agrees to join her “brand-new” grandmother as Bubbe prepares soup and teaches Jillian to make perfect matzah balls. After tasting the delicious concoction, Jillian plans a celebration for everyone: her mother, her stepfather, her father, and all her grandmothers (and her great-grandma). The three grandmas make their special soups and create a feast for everyone—a lovely way to bring a blended family together. Humorous, expressive illustrations track Jillian’s many moods; the interactions between Bubbe’s dog and her cat are especially funny. Filled with good tastes and intentions, the story will ring true where families have stayed friendly after divorce and remarriage. Jillian’s family is a diverse one—Bubbe is Jewish, and the family members range in skin tone. Backmatter includes recipes for all three grannies’ soups (Bubbe’s matzah ball soup, Noni’s Italian wedding soup, and Gram’s gazpacho).
A winning reminder that though family might evolve, it’s always anchored by love.
Jewish Book Council
When her mom remarries, Jillian gets a new stepdad and a new bubbe. Since she already has a Noni and a Gram, Jillian is not interested in adding anyone else new to her family. Bubbe can’t seem to win Jillian’s affections no matter what she tries. But when she brings over the ingredients to make matzo ball soup, Jillian can’t resist..
After slurping down a few bowls, she has an idea. Jillian invites all three of her grandmothers — plus her dad and her great-grandmother —for a “Super Soup Celebration.” Noni makes Italian meatball soup, Gram makes gazpacho and of course, Bubbe makes matzo ball soup. And, Jillian quickly realizes, “Like soup, family was made with love. And there was always room for more.”
The final page spread shows Jillian’s pregnant mother, and observant readers will be delighted to discover an adorable new sibling running across the endpages. Bright, colorful, expressive illustrations depict a fun-loving, contemporary, multicultural, and interfaith blended family. And it’s refreshing to see three bicycle-riding and basketball-playing grandmothers: Bubbe with frizzy red hair and hip purple glasses; petite Gram in a stylish headband, hiking boots, and shorts; and tall, slender Noni with a red beret and pearls.
All three soup recipes, with detailed instructions, are appended along with a list of resources for inter-faith and blended families. Similar to Chicken Soup, Chicken Soup by Pamela Mayer, illustrated by Deborah Melmon (Kar-Ben, 2016), and Tale of Two Seders by Mindy Avra Portnoy, illustrated by Valeria Cis (Kar-Ben, 2010), young readers who can personally relate to Jillian will feel validated and seen, and all readers will discover that “family is more than blood” and “there is no one right way to blend a family.” As Aronson writes in her afterward: “The only mandatory ingredients for celebrating your family are patience, humor, and of course, lots and lots of love!”—Rachel Kamin
ISBN: 978-1-63289-759-6 EPUB
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Page count: 32
81/2 x 11