Review of Brand-New Bubbe

Brand-New Bubbe Brand-New Bubbe
by Sarah Aronson; illus. by Ariel Landy
Primary    Charlesbridge    32 pp.    g
8/22    978-1-62354-249-8    $16.99
e-book ed.  978-1-63289-759-6    $9.99

Jillian already has two grandmothers, and though she’s happy with her new stepdad, the new bubbe who joins the family along with him takes some getting used to. Bubbe smothers her in lipstick kisses, uses Yiddish terms Jillian doesn’t understand, and claims her matzo ball soup is “the best soup in the universe”—and therein lies the real problem. Welcoming Bubbe in feels like disloyalty to Noni (and her meatball soup) and Gram (and her gazpacho). The lively third-person narration (“She had no choice. In the name of grandmas, it was time for a protest!”) sticks closely with Jillian and her strong but evolving feelings, with details in the cartoonish illustrations adding humor (keep an eye on the pets). The conclusion is, unsurprisingly, delicious, with plenty of family warmth and a hint of a new member to come. Back matter includes three soup recipes as well as resources for adults on blended and interfaith families.

From the July/August 2022 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

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