Book Review: Gryphons Don’t Celebrate Shavuot (2023)

A background photograph of an old library with multiple storeys. Text says: 'book review'

Gryphons Don’t Celebrate Shavuot (Loveable Monster Holiday Book #3) by Michelle Franklin

Just like Shavuot, Gryphons understand about having many different names. Shavuot is called ‘the festival of weeks’, ‘the festival of reaping’, and ‘the day of the first fruits’. Shavuot is also called Shavuos, which is just the word Shavuot but if you kicked the syllabic emphasis and the T about a bit*. Gryphons don’t mind which pronunciation you use, because they’re used to being called griffons, griffins, or gryphons since no one can make up their minds about the spelling. They are also accustomed to being called ‘hey, you!’ but not by one person for very long.

Michelle Franklin has become one of my all time favourite authors. Her Loveable Monster Holiday Books are just so charming and sweet, and it’s so wonderful to see new Jewish books for kids! We don’t have nearly enough. As with her previous books, I adored Gryphons Don’t Celebrate Shavuot. (We’re even getting a few recurring characters, like beloved Bubbeh Yenta!!)

Bubbeh Yenta is also good at counting, because she counted how many grey hairs you’ve given her and always counts how many pieces of noodle kugel you’ve left on your plate.

There’s so many cute gryphons (and gryphons mixed with other breeds, like the gryphon/pigeon character, the grygeon. SO FREAKING CUTE!) and as usual Jonathan Burrello’s art renders each one perfectly. This duo is clearly unstoppable together – a tour de force in children’s literature, in my humble opinion. I loved all the bits of Jewish tradition and religion that Franklin managed to pack into fun, wholesome little passages.

Bubbeh Yenta calls the pilgrimages ‘the three big schleps’. She calls Shavuot ‘the big schlep and schvitz’, because it happens in summer when the humidity does a number on her hair.

It’s such a light, cute, fun read and yet very informative.

I honestly can’t recommend Franklin’s books enough, for kids and adults. I can’t wait to see what the next one is!

Thank you so much to the author for a review copy.

My review of Werewolves Don’t Celebrate Hanukkah is here.
My review of Dragons Don’t Celebrate Passover is here.
My review of The Orc Who Saved Christmas is here.

Thank you to the author for a review copy.

Check out my master list of book reviews here, and my indie book reviews with the genres labelled here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s