Review: Kayla and Kugel's Silly Sukkot

Kayla and Kugel's Silly Sukkot

written & illustrated by Ann D. Koffsky

Apples & Honey Press (imprint of Behrman House), 2023

Category: Picture Books
Reviewer: Lisa Trank

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Kayla and her parents are preparing for the holiday of Sukkot. Mom and Dad are building the sukkah, and Kayla, joined by her playful pup Kugel, join in the action, gathering items for the roof and making decorations.

Woven in between the sukkah-building and Kugel’s silly antics are important mini-lessons about Sukkot, told with love and humor. For example, when Kugel offers a baseball bat he dug out from behind a bush for the sukkah roof, Kayla teaches him with gentleness that we only use things that grow. The affectionate tone grows along with the story, as when Kayla tells Kugel about her ancestors building and living in huts, and that we build a sukkah to remind us to be grateful for our homes. Kayla is a compassionate main character who models patience and compassion.

Koffsky’s centering of the story on Kayla and Kugel highlights the message that everyone, including a young girl and a little dog, can play an important role in Jewish traditions. Employing sparse and precise language, coupled with active and playful illustrations, Sukkot comes alive on the page. The reader will feel as if they have been invited into Kayla and Kugel’s sukkah. 

Kayla and Kugel’s Silly Sukkot is perfect for young readers who will fall in love with Kugel, a pup who jumps off the page and into our hearts. The book will appeal to Jewish, Interfaith, and non-Jewish readers. 

Illustration Editor Dena Bach adds: The loose line quality gives energy to the illustrations that bring in Judaic images where possible - a mezuzah on the house door, a drawing of a lulav and etrog on the sukkah decorations, challah on the dinner table - making the home feel specifically like a Jewish home. The sukkah guests add a note of ethnic diversity.

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Reviewer Lisa Trank is a Longmont, Colorado based children's book and freelance writer with a focus on Jewish-themed stories, articles, and profiles. She is a member of SCBWI-Rocky Mountain Chapter.


  1. Great review. I look forward to reading this book

  2. Wonderful review, Lisa. The books sounds adorable and kid-friendly.


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