Bubbie & Rivka's Best-Ever Challah (So Far!)

by Sarah Lynne Reul (Author)

Bubbie & Rivka's Best-Ever Challah (So Far!)
Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

Practice makes progress in this multigenerational story about family traditions and the pursuit of the perfect challah

Bubbie and Rivka are not the best bakers . . . yet. But they are starting a new tradition. Every Friday they will bake a challah together!

Week after week, Bubbie and Rivka pull a challah out of the oven that's not quite right. Once, it's a little lumpy. Another time, it's totally burnt! But no matter what has gone wrong, each challah is the best one they've ever made (. . . so far!)

As Bubbie and Rivka put their heads together to solve each week's baking disaster, they learn something new about how to approach their next challah, fine-tuning their skills and ensuring next week's bread will be even tastier. They learn that practice makes progress and persistence makes for some very special together time . . . and some very yummy challah!

Select format:

Publishers Weekly

Intergenerational persistence defines Reul's tale of a Jewish grandparent and grandchild tackling a new project in fresh-baked challah. Rivka's grandmother is "not the cooking kind of Bubbie." At the close of what seems to be the woman's briefcase-toting career, she and Rivka share a goal: "Now we have time, so we'll figure it out together. It's our new tradition: to make a challah every Friday!" Their first tragic loaf ("flat and lumpy. And pale!") sees them troubleshooting problems, leading to a well-risen but burned version ("Oy gevalt"), and finally, a puffy, perfectly burnished plait. Reul creates a delightfully chic Bubbie wearing draped scarves and bold jewelry, and Rivka's gap-toothed delight at the duo's time learning together is thoroughly endearing. The blend of hand-done and digital techniques echo the book's theme of new-meets-old, and its iterative structure underlines the idea that "practice makes progress." The characters are portrayed with tan skin. A challah recipe concludes. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)

Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

"Ruel's bright, colorful cartoons perfectly capture the love and humor of learning to bake. Rivka's and Bubbie's large, round brown eyes, facial expressions, and body language dramatically express every emotion and reaction. Young readers and their grands will feel the love and connect to their own family traditions." — "Kirkus Reviews"
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Abrams Books for Young Readers
Publication date
September 20, 2022
BISAC categories
JUV013030 - Juvenile Fiction | Family | Multigenerational
JUV033020 - Juvenile Fiction | Religious | Jewish
JUV050000 - Juvenile Fiction | Cooking & Food
Library of Congress categories
Picture books
United States
Challah (Bread)

Subscribe to our delicious e-newsletter!