Hanukkah Bear

Book Summary: 

Bubba Brayna lives on the outskirts of the village. Even though she is 97 years old, she loves to make potato latkes for her rabbi. While she prepares for Hanukkah by making latkes, a hungry bear smells them and ends up at her door. Bubba no longer has good eye sight and she mistakes the bear for the rabbi and invites him in. After Bubba spends the evening entertaining the bear, she sends him on his way. Not long after, the rabbi and villagers show up at Bubba's house. She realizes her mistake and puts everyone to work making another batch of latkes.

Eric A. Kimmel
Mike Wohnoutka
Holiday House
Guiding Question: 

The Jewish people live throughout the world and celebrate many different cultural traditions. Regardless of where they live, though, practicing Jews celebrate Hanukkah. If you are not Jewish, listen for things that are similar to or different from celebrations you take part in. If you are Jewish, listen for things that are similar to or different from the ways your family celebrates Hanukkah.

Howard’s Format from You Can’t Teach What You Don’t Know (73-85): 

Honesty- The author of this story uses words that pertain to the Jewish people. Have you ever heard these words? rabbi, latke, Bubba, menorah, dreidel, gimel, shalom, synagogue. Why do you think some people have never heard of these words that are common to Jewish people?

Empathy- Whether you are Jewish or not, how would you describe the community in this story? What are their feelings for each other? How do you know? Does this seem like a community that you would be comfortable in?

Advocacy- Why do the Jewish people live all over the world? Ask a Jewish person to come into your classroom to talk about this and other issues and customs he or she would like to share.

Action- Try to find someone that is different than your culture and learn about the holidays that they celebrate and some of their traditions that they participate in.


Reviewed by Emily Wilson, Ohio Northern University teacher candidate