It’s simple math, really. Although it’s not exactly simple to track the ages of all six children. But here they are: Ella, 13; Henny, 11; Sarah, 8; Charlotte, 7; Gertie, 5; Charlie, 3 months.
And in some ways it is the perfect follow-up to the first volume because it, too, begins with a library scene. Well, it begins with the children heading to the library at least.
But Gertie is protesting. She isn’t old enough to belong to the public library, but her friend has told her that children Gertie’s age are allowed to belong to the library at the settlement house, so Gertie wants to go there instead on library day.
On their way, they meet Miss Carey, who works as a nurse at the settlement house, which opens up another facet of this volume in the series, and, eventually, offers a glimpse into tenement life and garment-factory work (which wouldn’t, otherwise, have had a place in the life of the all-of-a-kind family).
Miss Carey is, like other characters throughout the series, invited to share in family life. And readers should know that cravings will ensure from reading this volume in particular.
“What did you say these interesting looking things are?” asked Miss Carey.
“They’re called cheese blintzes,” explained Mama. “It’s just sweetened pot cheese rolled up in a sort of pancake. Go ahead, try one,” she urged.
Miss Carey took a bite. “Um. Delicious.”
There are many shared and festive meals connected with various Jewish holidays/events (e.g. Purim, Simchas Torah, Succos) and the volume ends with a dinner scene, though just an ordinary dinner, with family and friends gathered around the table. They’re eating False Soup, which is made to taste tasty without a lot of ingredients and nothing fancy.
There’s nothing fancy about Sydney Taylor’s series either, but it’s wholeheartedly satisfying.