Hoopla Under the Huppah by Dori Weinstein (Five Flames Press, 2017) is the third instalment of the YaYa and YoYo series, which includes Sliding into the New Year, about Rosh Hashanah, and Shaking in the Shack, about Sukkot.
Targeted to 9-to-11-year-olds, Hoopla Under the Huppah features 11-year-old twins YaYa (Yael/Ellie) and YoYo (Yoel/Joel) Silver. Their Aunt Rachel is getting married to soon-to-be Uncle David, and they have been asked to participate. As the plans develop, YaYa and YoYo learn all of the rituals and traditions of a Jewish wedding. However, as the weeks pass, there are all kinds of good and bad adventures that the twins and their 13-year-old older brother, Jeremy, experience. As the ketubah, painted by the kids’ mother, the wedding ceremony and more evolve, YaYa worries about “the Evil Eye” and that she might be bringing bad luck to everything she touches.
Hoopla Under the Huppah offers opportunities for parents to discuss various Jewish traditions with their kids, while enjoying the humour of the Silver family. As an adult, I really enjoyed this book.
Weinstein grew up in New York, taught in public and Jewish schools and now lives in Minneapolis, Minn., with her husband and children, where she teaches preschool Hebrew.
Sybil Kaplan is a journalist, lecturer, book reviewer and food writer in Jerusalem. She created and leads the weekly English-language Shuk Walks in Machane Yehuda, she has compiled and edited nine kosher cookbooks, and is the author of Witness to History: Ten Years as a Woman Journalist in Israel.