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The Children's Bookshelf: Brand-New Bubbe - August 15, 2022

Brand New Bubbe written by Sarah Aronson and illustrated by Ariel Landy is a story about a little girl named Jillian whose mother marries for a second time giving her a total of three grandmothers-----Noni, Gram and now Bubbe! Jillian doesn’t want a Bubbe. She doesn’t want her other grandmothers to feel replaced.

Jillian makes her feelings well known especially when she rolls her eyes in disgust. She rejects all kinds of hugs and gifts from Bubbe including a new teddy bear, plans for trips, her favorite foods, and Bubbe’s kisses! “She smothered Jillian with bright red kissy-lips that took a long time to wash off.”

Mom steps in and strongly tells Jillian to give Bubbe a chance. One afternoon Bubbe decides to make soup with Jillian. It grabs the little girl’s interest so much that she decides to invite her Noni and her Gram who also make special soup and Bubbe to a Super Soup celebration! This creative thought is just perfect to pull a blended family together.

Brand New Bubbe, written by Sarah Aronson and illustrated by Ariel Landy hosts a story that is both real and charming. The illustrations are full of color and are packed full of great details. Young readers 4-8 years of age will also love the tasty back material where the recipe for each soup is available including Bubbe’s World-Famous Matzo Ball Soup, Noni’s Not-Just- for- Weddings Italian Wedding Soup and Gram’s Easy-Peasy As- Spicy- As- You -Like-It Gazpacho. (Charlesbridge, 2022).

The Children’s Bookshelf is a production of WCMU. Links to the podcast and the Activity Questions can be found at Children’s Bookshelf dot org.

Activity Questions for Brand-New Bubbe

Younger readers: The final picture in this book shows Jillian with her entire family in the backyard happily eating all kinds of food---some food from different cultural backgrounds. Study the illustration and find the following family members: Gram, Great Mama-Nana, Jillian, Jillian’s Dad, Jillian’s Stepdad, Bubbe, Noni and Jillian’s Mom. If you were to give this picture of a family gathering a title, what would it be?

Older readers: What does Jillian’s Mom mean when she tells Jillian that family is more than blood?

Read through the three soup recipes in the back material and note the ingredients. If you were to ask Mom or Dad or in this case Stepdad to help you make one of the three soups discussed, which would you select? Why?

Study the illustrations: Who takes Jillian bike riding? What kind of food is Jillian’s favorite? Name three of Jillian’s stuffed animals? What color is Jillian’s stepdad’s hair? How is Jillian’s family going to change shortly?

Sue Ann Martin is professor emerita of Communication and Dramatic Arts and the founding and past Dean of the College of Communication and Fine Arts at Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. She first became interested in children’s literature when she wrote her PhD thesis on the oral characteristics of the Caldecott Award-winning children’s books. Her PhD is in Speech and Interpretation with a cognate in Early Childhood Education. She went on to review children’s books for the Detroit Free Press, write three popular resource books for teachers regarding children’s books and the creative process. She also reviewed newly-published books for Arts Almanac specials on WCMU Public Radio. Her 2002 children’s books special for WCMU won a Merit Award in Special Interest Programming from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters.