French Toast Sundays
French Toast Sundays
By Gloria Spielman
Illustrated by Inbal Gigi Bousidan
Hardcover, 32pp, $17.95
When Mina's beloved Grandma dies, nothing feels right anymore.
People come to visit. Mina just hides up in the big old oak tree. But the stories she hears about Grandma bring her slowly back down
until at last Mina feels ready to smile again.
Reviews for French Toast Sundays
"This beautifully illustrated picture book tells the story of Mina, a little girl who was very close to her grandmother and shared many special times with her. When her grandmother dies, Mina experiences the week of shiva from her perch in her favorite tree. Over the course of seven days, she sees and hears friends and neighbors coming together to help her family go through the mourning process. At first they are very sad, but by the end of the week they are able to tell sweet and funny stories about Grandma—and Mina is ready to abandon her perch and join the group, making French toast for everyone according to Grandma’s secret recipe.
This simple story speaks to children and adults alike. The illustrations are realistic, yet soft and easy to look at. The level of the text makes the book an excellent read-aloud for children ages 4 to 8. The story is particularly appropriate for children who have experienced the loss of a loved one, as it can be a source of gentle comfort."
— Jewish Book Council
"Loving memories help a young girl mourn the death of her grandmother.
Mina and her grandmother have always shared a special time on Sunday mornings. Together they prepare French toast using a recipe that consists of “a pinch of this. Not quite right. A shake of that. Mmm, just right.” With the delicious food on her plate, Mina climbs a tree to eat, and Grandma sits at a table nearby. Then, one Sunday, everything is different as family and friends gather. There’s boiled eggs to eat and a candle burning on the windowsill. Unstated in the text, the white Jewish family is sitting shiva—observing a seven-day period of mourning. Mina does not want to join them; she climbs up her tree. More food comes and more memories are shared as Mina inches down the tree and watches through the window. Overhearing the relatives talk about Grandma’s cooking moves Mina to action. It seems that Grandma’s one culinary skill was in preparing French toast, and only Mina knows how to make it. Softly textured illustrations help to convey the tender mood of the story. For many families, the death of a grandparent is observed with both religious and secular customs, and all should find a note of reassurance and comfort here.
Food is an intergenerational bond, and this sensitive portrayal gets it just right."
— Kirkus Reviews