More than 35 years ago, I published a children’s picture book in New York titled “Bubbie and Zadie Come to My House” for Jewish children ages 4 to 12 and not only did it sell well nationwide in hardback and paperback, the resulting publicity surrounding the Chanukah-themed book and how it came to be in a magical, lucky way led to newspaper articles in more than dozen papers in the U.S. and Canada. The New York Times wrote about it, the Associated Press wrote about it and the San Francisco Chronicle wrote about it.
Time flies. I was 35 then, I am 70 now.
And not only am much older now, so too are the readers back then who first read the book with their parents and grandparents looking over their shoulders. Now those young readers are adults and perhaps passing on their copies of the book to their own children every Chanukah after Chanukah.
I have a savvy publisher in Manhattan to thank for taking a chance on my book again in 2006 and issuing a second edition. But most of all, I thank the children who read the story when it first came out in 1985, And lo and behold, as if a new kind of miracle has happened, the book is still in print and available in libraries and Jewish museum gift shops nationwide. There’s even talk now of a Broadway musical based on the story in the future.
The excerpt begins like this:
“For as long as I can remember, Hanukkah was always different from all the other holidays my family celebrated in western Massachusetts in the 1950s.
”Potato latkes would be cooking on the griddle and Mom had Hanukkah cookies baking in the oven, too. Outside, in the cold December air, snow would be falling from the night sky, creating a fairyland of shapes on the bushes and trees around our house….
”And what made Hanukkah extra special ever since I can remember is this: Bubbie and Zadie would be coming to visit!
”Yes, Bubbie and Zadie. Do you know who they are? Let me give you a hint: their names mean “grandma” and “grandpa” in the Yiddish language.
”They have lived for many many years. They have special magical powers.They are wise and full of advice.They love to tell stories as much an they love to hear stories, especially the story of Hanukkah.
”But most important of all, Bubbie and Zadie love children, especially you!
‘That is why, on the first night of Hanukkah, and during all eight nights of the festive holiday, they visit every Jewish home in the world. How do they do it? Use your imagination!
”I remember when I was seven years old. The very first time that Bubbie and Zadie came to my house, it happened like this…
Note to readers, children and adults worldwide: If you enjoyed this brief excerpt, and would like to write a letter to Bubbie and Zadie yourself to introduce yourself and your family to them, please feel free write to them with a handwritten letter by snail mail and they will write back to you for free with a sweet message, too. Here is the snail mail address:
Bubbie and Zadie
115 Herricks Road
Garden City Park, New York 11040 USA
And online via email write to them at firstname.lastname@example.org and then will get back to you with a nice email message, too.
Happy Hannukah 2019.