Bagels--Fiction Grandfathers--Fiction (Grades K-3)

Sesame or Poppy Seed? The Bagel King by Andrew Larsen

Every Sunday Zaida went to Merv’s Bakery for bagels.

Eli would hear the familiar Knock! Knock! “It’s me!” Zaida would say. “I’ve got bagels!”

Warm.
Chewy.
Salty.
Bagels were the best thing about Sunday.

But one Sunday Zaida doesn’t arrive with the bagels. He slips down in the bakery shop and the doctor said he had to rest his tuches, his backside, for a couple of weeks.

It is hard for the family without their Sunday bagels. Their stomachs growl. Zaida’s visiting cronies, Mr. Rubin, Mr. Wolf, and Mr. Goldstick, miss their Sunday bagels, too.

“What’s a Sunday without bagels?” said Zaida.

All week Eli had bagels on the brain.

Something must be done! On the next Saturday night Eli makes out his shopping list, and early on Sunday morning he heads for Merv’s Bakery and comes out with a big sack of still-warm bagels, some plain, some with sesame, and some with poppy seeds. He hurries to Zaida’s house and knocks on the door.

“It’s me, Eli! I’ve got bagels!”

A humorous story about family affection, Andrew Larsen’s The Bagel King (Kids Can Press, 2018) is as heart-warming as a fresh-baked bagel, a tasty ritual with the flavor of family love baked right in. In charmingly retro illustrations, artist Sandy Nichols portrays the gentle sharing of love and care between grandfather and grandson in a cheery urban setting with subtle touches of humor (even the moon and rubber donut that the doctor gives Grampa Zaida to ease his backside look like bagels). With a little glossary of the Jewish terms at the beginning, this is an unassuming little picture book that says a lot about the universals of love.

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