Bagels From Benny By Aubrey Davis
Of all the Jewish picture books on the market, this one is the least didactic in its discussion of God and tikkun olam (repairing the world through social justice). In fact, it integrates the two ideas seamlessly, with a light humorous touch. When a young boy named Benny compliments his grandfather for making the best bagels in town, Benny’s grandfather explains that in fact, God makes the bagels. Benny misunderstands this explanation and tries to return the bagels to God, by taking them to the synagogue and leaving them inside the ark. An amazing twist resolves the story in such a way that Benny does find God, and God does get his bagels, in a manner of speaking. Seen through the eyes of a kid, the search for God becomes subtle and gently humorous.