Bitter and Sweet

Bitter and Sweet

Written by: Feder, Sandra V.
Illustrated by: Brooker, Kyrsten
ages 4 to 7 / grades K to 2

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For Hannah, moving to a new city feels bitter, but can she find the sweetness, too?

When Hannah’s family has to move, her grandmother tells her how she felt leaving the old country — it was both bitter and sweet. As Hannah leaves her friends behind and tries to get used to a new house, she only feels bitterness. Was her grandmother wrong about the sweetness?

Hannah starts to feel better about the move when she sees her new house in the soft light of the Shabbat candles. When a new friend reaches out with a special gift, Hannah realizes that sweetness can come from unexpected places and that she can even create some herself.

Featuring art by acclaimed illustrator Kyrsten Brooker, this story subtly conveys a universal message — while life can be full of challenging moments, sweeter ones can be found and created. An author’s note is included on the concept of bitter and sweet in Jewish culture.

Key Text Features
author’s note

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.K.3
With prompting and support, identify characters, settings, and major events in a story.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.2
Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.2.3
Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges.

For Hannah, moving to a new city feels bitter, but can she find the sweetness, too?

When Hannah’s family has to move, her grandmother tells her how she felt leaving the old country — it was both bitter and sweet. As Hannah leaves her friends behind and tries to get used to a new house, she only feels bitterness. Was her grandmother wrong about the sweetness?

Hannah starts to feel better about the move when she sees her new house in the soft light of the Shabbat candles. When a new friend reaches out with a special gift, Hannah realizes that sweetness can come from unexpected places and that she can even create some herself.

Featuring art by acclaimed illustrator Kyrsten Brooker, this story subtly conveys a universal message — while life can be full of challenging moments, sweeter ones can be found and created. An author’s note is included on the concept of bitter and sweet in Jewish culture.

Key Text Features
author’s note

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.K.3
With prompting and support, identify characters, settings, and major events in a story.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.2
Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.2.3
Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges.

Published By Groundwood Books Ltd — Oct 1, 2018
Specifications 32 pages | 9.75 in x 8.75 in
Written By

SANDRA V. FEDER is the author of three acclaimed picture books: Angry Me, illustrated by Rahele Jomepour Bell; Bitter and Sweet, illustrated by Kyrsten Brooker, a PJ Library selection; and The Moon Inside, illustrated by Aimée Sicuro, which has been translated into multiple languages. She has also written the Daisy series of early chapter books, illustrated by Susan Mitchell. Sandra lives in California.

Illustrated by

KYRSTEN BROOKER studied illustration at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and has since illustrated over twenty books for children, including Chik Chak Shabbat by Mara Rockliff and The Poem That Will Not End, written by Joan Bransfield Graham. She lives with her family in Edmonton.

Written By

SANDRA V. FEDER is the author of three acclaimed picture books: Angry Me, illustrated by Rahele Jomepour Bell; Bitter and Sweet, illustrated by Kyrsten Brooker, a PJ Library selection; and The Moon Inside, illustrated by Aimée Sicuro, which has been translated into multiple languages. She has also written the Daisy series of early chapter books, illustrated by Susan Mitchell. Sandra lives in California.

Illustrated by

KYRSTEN BROOKER studied illustration at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and has since illustrated over twenty books for children, including Chik Chak Shabbat by Mara Rockliff and The Poem That Will Not End, written by Joan Bransfield Graham. She lives with her family in Edmonton.

Audience ages 4 to 7 / grades K to 2
Reading Levels Guided Reading N
Fountas & Pinnel Text Level N
Lexile AD580L
Key Text Features author's note
Common Core CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.2.3
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.2
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.K.3

“Moving houses is often a challenge for young children; this sensitive story addresses their fears and suggests a positive method of dealing with change. Many references to Jewish customs . . . help flesh out the commingling of bitter and sweet.” —Quill and Quire

“[Kyrsten] Brooker's illustrations are a marvel.” —Kirkus Reviews

“While telling a familiar story about the difficulties of moving, the quietly expressive text offers a clear view of Hannah’s emotions and a hopeful, yet practical perspective on making things better. . . . [I]nsightful.” —Booklist