Bagels from Benny


32 pages
ISBN 1-55337-417-7
DDC j398.2'094607





Illustrations by Dusan Petricic
Reviewed by Mima Vulovic

Mima Vulovic is a sessional lecturer at York University who also works
at the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General.


When it comes to perfect bagels, Benny’s grandpa is a local legend:
his patrons swear they can taste love inside the chewy crust. When they
thank him for the wonderful bread, Grandpa explains to Benny that it is
God, not he, who must be thanked. “Bagels come from flour, flour comes
from wheat, wheat comes from earth, and earth comes from God ...” So,
Benny embarks on a heartwarming quest to express his gratitude. Every
week, he leaves bagels for God in the synagogue. The bagels promptly
disappear, and Benny is certain that his offerings are appreciated.
Then, in an interesting twist, it turns out that Benny’s bagels are in
fact being collected by a hungry man who believes they are a gift from

This tale, adapted from the ancient Jewish folklore of Spain, is both
told and illustrated with warmth and whimsy. Duљan Petricic’s
familiar cross-hatched illustrations, cleverly shaped like freshly baked
bagels, underline the story’s most memorable moments. Though the book
is intended for children aged 4–8, its topic of faith and caring as
well as the marvellous artwork will surely appeal to audiences of all

Aubrey Davis is a Toronto-based teacher and the author of Bone Button
Borscht and The Enormous Potato. Duљan Petricic is an award-winning
children’s book designer whose credits include The Enormous Potato,
Earthlings Inside and Out, and Margaret Atwood’s Rude Ramsay and the
Roaring Radishes. Recommended.


Davis, Aubrey., “Bagels from Benny,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 21, 2024,