Synopses & Reviews
For Ruthie's seventh birthday, Grandma Gussie gives her a box of candles. Ruthie has enough candles for each of the Jewish holidays and Shabbats in the year. When the candles are gone, Ruthie will be eight years old. But her seventh year will bring about a big change in her life. It all begins when Grandma Gussie invites Mr. Adler to dinner one Friday night. Mr. Adler is a new neighbor. But he and Grandma Gussie knew each other in grammar school. Grandma Gussie spends a lot of time Mr. Adler, time that she would have spent with Ruthie, That's only one reason why Ruthie doesn't like Mr. Adler. He also has a mustache, wears funny-looking hats, and whistles. As the year goes on, however, from Shabbat to Shabbat and holiday to holiday, Ruthie begins to see Mr. Adler in a different light. This heartwarming story by Laurie A. Jacobs, with engaging illustrations by Shelly Ephraim, takes readers through the Jewish year as it tells the story of a young girl who learns to open her heart and accept her grandma's newfound happiness.
"Faith, family and friends all create their own place in young Ruthie's heart throughout an eventful year in this picture book about growth and tradition. On her seventh birthday Ruthie is honored to receive a silver candlestick and a box of candles one for each Shabbat and holiday of the year from her Grandma Gussie. The year of celebrations is off to a rocky start, however, when Ruthie learns she'll have to start sharing Grandma with Mr. Adler an old friend who has begun courting her. Readers learn the basics of each season on the Jewish calendar as Ruthie experiences them (i.e., 'February-March/Adar' is the time for Purim), and also see Ruthie's heart soften toward Mr. Adler. The calendar provides the framework for a successful dovetailing of themes. Ephraim's serviceable watercolors get all the details right, but sometimes fail to capture the emotion of the text. Ages 5-8. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Jacobs offers a calendar of the Jewish year framed in a story of family and acceptance. . . . The chapter headings name the months with their English and Hebrew names, and the straightforward watercolors, while primitive, capture Ruthie's life with clarity and warmth." --Kirkus Reviews
"Faith, family and friends all create their own place in young Ruthie's heart throughout an eventful year in this picture book about growth and tradition." --Publishers Weekly
"[A] sweet, sensitive story of common emotions. . . . Children will be comforted to see how even feelings as strong as jealousy and anger can sometimes change to love." --Booklist
For Ruthie's seventh birthday, Grandma Gussie gives her a box of candles. Ruthie has enough candles for each of the Jewish holidays and Shabbats in the year. When the candles are gone, Ruthie will be eight years old. But her seventh year will bring about a big change in her life--a new member of her family--which Ruthie will have to accept before she can truly celebrate her eighth birthday.
About the Author
makes kugel, honey cake, and poppy-seed cookies almost as good as her Grandma Ida's at her home in Swampscott, Massachusetts, where she lives with her husband and three children. Her dog, Max, is especially fond of her baking.
Shelly Schonebaum Ephraim is a free-lance graphic artist and illustrator living outside Washington, D.C., with her husband, Lon, a musician, and her son Theo. She is a graduate of Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore and has been drawing since her earliest memory.