Grandma Rose's Magic

illus. by Ag Jatkowska. unpaged. CIP. Lerner/Kar-Ben. Mar. 2012. RTE $17.95. ISBN 978-0-7613-5215-0; pap. $7.95. ISBN 978-0-7613-5216-7. LC 2011014423.
K-Gr 2—Grandma Rose sews wonderful clothing and linens for her friends and family. The grateful recipients comment on the surprise touches she always adds to her pieces, but she just says, "Must be magic." She saves the money she earns to buy a set of pretty dishes like the ones her own grandmother used on Shabbos (the Jewish sabbath). A moment of crisis comes when the dishes are no longer available at the department store, but she arrives home to find that her family has bought her the coveted china and has gathered to celebrate her generosity. This is a pleasant (if somewhat saccharine) story, but children hoping for a tale of magic will be disappointed. Those seeking Jewish content may also be disappointed to find it limited to that one mention of Shabbos, although Grandma Rose could be used as an example of "a woman of valor." Bright, cheerful paintings in a mildly retro style show an iconic grandmother, complete with half-moon glasses and white bun. All in all, this is a rather girly story both thematically and visually, and the lack of any real action may limit its appeal.—Heidi Estrin, Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel, Boca Raton, FL
Grandma Rose always sews something extra for her clients--all friends, neighbors, and family. When her satisfied customers discover that she is saving for a set of dishes, they find a way to thank her. Children may be unable to identify with Rose's desire for fine china, though they may enjoy the whirlwind of color and movement in the illustrations.

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