Bitter and Sweet by Sandra V. Feder and Kyrsten Brooker
by Dick Leonardo
Bitter and Sweet
By Sandra V. Feder
with Illustrations by Kyrsten Brooker
“Mazal Tov!” a Jewish phrase for sweet and happiness. “Bitter and Sweet” by Sandra V. Feder and Kyrsten Brooker is a young children’s book about a little Jewish girl who has to move from her the house and neighborhood where she was born to a new neighborhood. This little girl learns learns lessons on acceptance and what makes one happy in life and living. This little girl is known as Hannah and she learns of sadness when having to give up something close to her, but learns by remembering a something special will make the bitter (sad) sweet (happy).
Sandra has written a story that will have the reader of any religion remembering memories of younger days. The pictures are detailed and using matte colors and hues that help to stimulate various kinds of memories for the readers. These are pictures that stimulate emotions and will make a good story to teach morals and understanding of others.
Featuring art by acclaimed illustrator Kyrsten Brooker, this story subtly conveys a universal message ― while life can be full of challenging moments, sweeter ones can be found and created. An author’s note is included on the concept of bitter and sweet in Jewish culture.
When Hannah’s family has to move, her grandmother tells her how she felt leaving the old country ― it was both bitter and sweet. As Hannah leaves her friends behind and tries to get used to a new house, she only feels bitterness. Was her grandmother wrong about the sweetness?
Hannah starts to feel better about the move when she sees her new house in the soft light of the Shabbat candles. When a new friend reaches out with a special gift, Hannah realizes that sweetness can come from unexpected places and that she can even create some herself.
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