The Bab­ka Sisters

  • Review
By – May 2, 2023

Sis­ters (or, in Yid­dish, shvesters) Esther and Hes­ter love one anoth­er, but they are all about com­pe­ti­tion — espe­cial­ly when it comes to mak­ing their out­stand­ing babkas. Whose bab­ka is the most deli­cious? Their great bab­ka bake-off is designed to answer this press­ing ques­tion once and for all.

Their new neigh­bor, Sylvester, will be the taster and judge. The sis­ters mix and fill and bake their hearts out, with pets Chester and Lester as com­pa­ny. Soon the babkas are ready for tast­ing. Poor Sylvester! Will he be up to the task of choos­ing a bake-off win­ner in time for Shab­bat? His ulti­mate answer demon­strates both tact and sen­si­tiv­i­ty and sat­is­fies every­one involved.

Pro­lif­ic author Lesléa New­man makes us smile once again with this sweet, tasty tale of bab­ka and love. The illus­tra­tions by Tika and Tata Bobokhidze are filled with col­or, humor, and charm. Hes­ter, Esther, and Sylvester will make read­ers of all ages chuck­le at the same time that they con­tem­plate mouth-water­ing bab­ka and car­ing rela­tion­ships. Com­plete with a recipe and glos­sary, this is a fun read-aloud (per­haps best paired with some heav­en­ly babka).

Michal Hoschan­der Malen is the edi­tor of Jew­ish Book Coun­cil’s young adult and children’s book reviews. A for­mer librar­i­an, she has lec­tured on top­ics relat­ing to lit­er­a­cy, run book clubs, and loves to read aloud to her grandchildren.

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