Bagels from Benny
Author: Aubrey Davis; Illustrator: Dusan Petricic
Pages: 32 pages
Publisher/Date: Kids Can Press/2003
ISBN: 1553374177
Age Levels: 4-8

Book Review

Benny loves to help his grandfather in the bakery. When Benny thanks Grandpa for the wonderful bagels, Grandpa tells Benny that God, not he, should be thanked. For it is God, after all, who made the earth from which the ingredients for the bagels come.

So Benny sets out to do just that. Each week, on Friday, Benny leaves God a huge bag full of bagels in the Holy Ark at the synagogue. And each Saturday, Benny notices to his delight, the bagels have disappeared. Surely God must be eating—and enjoying—the delicious bagels.

When Benny accidentally learns what is really happening to the bagels, he discovers a powerful and poignant truth.

The pen-and-ink and watercolor drawings (in muted brown tones with spots of color) are done in a round shape, simulating bagels. Benny's emotions can be seen clearly in his facial expressions. The illustrations create a warm, old-fashioned tone and feel that balances perfectly with this lovely, thought-provoking tale.

A true testament to the power of giving. Highly recommended.

Note from the book: Bagels from Benny has its roots in an ancient Jewish folk tale from Spain. That story later became a legend featuring the 16th century Jewish Mystic, Isaac Luria. In the 17th century, Rabbi Moses Hagiz of Amsterdam recorded a version of the tale.

Reviewed by the teachers at Education Oasis
©2003 Education Oasis®

About the Author

Aubrey Davis is a teacher and storyteller who has developed an oral language and storytelling program that he uses in his work with primary and special needs students. His books include Bone Button Borscht and The Enormous Potato. He lives in Toronto, Ontario.

About the Illustrator

Dusan Petricic is an award-winning children's book designer and illustrator whose works include The Enormous Potato and Earthlings Inside and Out. When not working on books, he creates editorial cartoons and illustrations for magazines and newspapers. He lives in Toronto, Ontario.