Beep Beep Bubbie
Beep Beep Bubbie
“What do you think of my new scooter, Kate?”
A scooter? That was the surprise!
“Everything will be different now,” Kate said glumly.
“Maybe different is good,” Bubbie said. “Long ago, people who had trouble walking were stuck indoors.”
Beep Beep Bubbie follows a fun-filled day shared by an energetic grandmother, or Bubbie, and her two grandchildren, Kate and Nate. The story is told from Kate’s point of view and begins with her eagerness to spend Jewish Sabbath with Bubbie who also has a surprise to show her grandchildren. Bubbie’s plans for the day include taking Kate and Nate to Granville Island to get apples for Rosh Hashanah. When seeing that Bubbie’s surprise is her motorized scooter, Kate feels upset and believes her grandmother won’t have the ability to be as much fun as she used to be.
Kate is initially worried that Bubbie won’t be as active as she once was because of the new scooter. Her younger brother is too young to realize the difference in Bubbie. Kate’s worries are contrasted against the “Beep Beep” noises Nate makes as he immediately comes to enjoy Bubbie’s scooter. As the day progresses, Kate comes to realize that Bubbie hasn’t changed as much as Kate thought she would. They enjoy Granville Island where Bubbie shows that on her scooter she can carry a heavy bag of apples, comfort Nate when he is upset, fly a kite, and even pick up after Luna, her dog, at the park.
Illustrations by Élisabeth Eudes-Pascal bring to life Vancouver’s urban and nature-filled landscapes. Eudes-Pascal vividly depicts life in Vancouver with the children, Bubbie, and Bubbie’s dog Luna riding the bus, visiting Granville Island, and having an active day in the park where they are surrounded by both nature and a cityscape across the water. The illustrations at the end of the story show the comfort the children have as they come back to Bubbie’s home. In the greenery of Bubbie’s backyard, the children decorate and name Bubbie’s scooter, and Kate is finally comfortable enough to take a ride on it with Bubbie. The very last page shows the children and Bubbie on her scooter at a climate march, something they used to do with Bubbie before she got her scooter.
Beep Beep Bubbie is a comforting story that celebrates adapting to new circumstances and celebrates ability over disability. Readers will enjoy the colourful illustrations in the story and feel included in Kate and Nate’s fun day with Bubbie. Through Kate, readers can come to understand what grandparents experience when they adapt to changes in their physical mobility.
Vasso Tassiopoulos is a graduate of the Master of Arts in Children’s Literature program at the University of British Columbia and the Master of Teaching program at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. She is currently an elementary teacher with the Toronto District School Board.