Review: And a Cat from Carmel Market
And a Cat from Carmel Market
by Alyssa Satin Capucilli, illustrated by Rotem Teplow
Kar-Ben Publishing (imprint of Lerner Publishing Group)
Category: Picture Books
Reviewer: Rachel Kamin
Buy at Bookshop.org
When Bubbe goes shopping on Friday afternoon in the Carmel Market in Tel Aviv, she comes home with challah, candles, chicken, fruits, vegetables, flowers, and wine as well as a parade of stray cats. But when the cats start to yowl and disrupt her Shabbat meal, Bubbe agonizes over shooing the cats away. Surprisingly, as soon as she lights the candles, “all the cats settled down before her eyes” and Bubbe and her guests are able to enjoy a delicious, and peaceful, meal. The simple rhyming text is a pleasure to read aloud and young children will join in the refrain “. . . and a cat from Carmel Market!” They will also delight in finding, and counting, all of the cats, in various sizes and colors, that follow Bubbe home. The cheery, detailed and textured illustrations by Israeli artist Rotem Teplow depict the sights and scenes, as well as the diversity, of contemporary Tel Aviv. However, it is puzzling why the author chose to use the Yiddish word for grandmother; the Hebrew word Savta would have made much more sense given the setting of the story. A natural pairing with The Cats on Ben Yehuda Street by Ann Redisch Stampler but would also work well with Chik Chak Shabbat by Mara Rockliff and Once Upon a Shabbos by Jacqueline Jules for a fun, Shabbat and cooking themed storytime.
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