About this book
Bitter and Sweet
Sandra V. Feder • Kyrsten Brooker
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.
About the Creators
Sandra V. Feder
Sandra V. Feder is the author of The Moon Inside, illustrated by Aimée Sicuro, as well as the popular Daisy series of early chapter books—Daisy’s Perfect Word, Daisy’s Defining Day and Daisy’s Big Night. After moving many times and discovering the sweetness of each new place, she now lives in Northern California.
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.
Awards and Praise
About Bitter and Sweet, by Sandra V. Feder, illustrated by Kyrsten Brooker:
“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, STARRED REVIEW
About The Moon Inside, by Sandra V. Feder, illustrated by Aimée Sicuro:
“Feder’s words are gentle and reassuring and will satisfy children who also fear the dark … A lovely addition to bedtime book collections.” Booklist
“A simply luminous and reassuring selection to share before bedtime, again and again.” School Library Journal
“There’s no shortage of picture books on this topic, but Feder and Sicuro handle this with such care and thoughtfulness; it really stands out.” Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast
About Chik Chak Shabbat, by Mara Rockliff, illustrated by Kyrsten Brooker:
“Rockliff’s lovely, unassuming story of tradition and multicultural community is smartly paired with Brooker’s oil and collages. At once homespun and stylish, the pictures speak to the possibilities for human connection in a modern, urban setting.” Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Delightful. … As warm and comforting as a bowl of cholent, this does a fine job of showing how the American mosaic can also be a satisfying whole. Brooker’s illustrations, which are reminiscent of Gabi Swiatkowska’s work, are full of wit and emotion that bring the story alive.” Booklist, starred review