Thursday, April 17, 2008

A Look Inside Bagels From Benny

Bagels from Benny by Aubrey Davis, illustrated by Dusan Petricic won the 2003 Sydney Taylor Book Award in the Younger Readers Category. Now you can read the entire book online, thanks to They are adding free online picture books all the time, and Bagels from Benny is one of the new entries in their Judaica category.

As Lookybook says:

Benny loves to help out at his grandpa’s bakery in the morning, and the customers love the crusty bagels with their soft insides. When Grandpa explains to Benny that God, not him, should be thanked for the wonderful bagels, Benny sets out to do just that. He decides to leave God a bagful of bagels in the synagogue at the end of each week. And each week God eats the bagels — or so Benny thinks … Lovingly told, Bagels from Benny explores the values of caring and sharing, building a strong sense of community and finding joy in giving thanks.

A reading guide for Bagels from Benny is available from the PJ Library.

The story is based on the old Jewish legend about the loaves in the ark. A more traditional retelling, which was also an AJL Notable Book, is In God's Hands by Lawrence Kushner and Gary Schmidt, illustrated by Matthew J. Baek. Click here for the publisher's description and for a link to sample pages.

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