Raisins and Almonds
A Yiddish Lullaby
Scribble-scrabble. Scribble-scrabble. What is the noise coming from under Annie’s bed? It’s a little white goat, says her mother. Together mother and child create a fantastical adventure in an imaginary world. Based on the much-loved Yiddish lullaby “Rozhinkes Mit Mandlen” (“Raisins and Almonds”), this book includes a QR code link to a video recording of the song in Yiddish and English, as well as an author’s note and the Yiddish and English lyrics to the song.
|Interest Level||Preschool - Grade 2|
|Reading Level||Grade 1|
|Genre||Fiction, Picture Books|
|Publisher||Lerner Publishing Group|
|Imprint||Kar-Ben Publishing ™|
|Number of Pages||32|
“Redheaded Bella hears night noises and heads to her mother, who explains that the source is a little white goat who runs a store under Bella’s bed. The child is intrigued: ‘Will he have a red bicycle?’ she asks. ‘You never know,’ Mama says. Returning to her room, Bella enters an enchanted landscape, rendered by Sánchez (Here I Am) in sweeping, pencil-like textures and velvety colors ranging from earthy to radiant. Bella meets three fellow shoppers—a mouse needing furniture and a mezuzah, a rabbit seeking gardening equipment and a kippah, and a wolf who craves pickled herring, bagels and lox, and pastrami—as text by Tarcov (Maya Prays for Rain) becomes a series of incantatory dialogues, with each animal asking about the goat’s inventory and Bella responding, as her mother did, with ‘You never know.’ Arriving at the goat’s store, the quartet discovers that he sells only raisins and almonds, and the story abruptly stops—readers may even wonder whether the final pages have gone missing. The connection to the titular lullaby is tenuous (even with an explanatory author’s note), but the authors do succeed in conveying what dreaming feels like: marvelously strange and surreally vivid. Ages 3–8.” —Publishers Weekly
“Sánchez’s colorful double-page-spread illustrations are fanciful and whimsical, playing up the magical elements.”
Author: Susan Tarcov
Susan Tarcov grew up next to the Bronx Zoo, a great inspiration for writing children's books. She is married, has three children, and lives in Chicago.
Illustrator: Sonia Sánchez
Award-winning illustrator Sonia Sánchez paints with both traditional and digital brushes using layers of texture in her work to evoke emotion and movement. Sonia lives in Spain.