A Canadian Tradition – Hanukkah and “Bone Button Borscht”

Bone Button BorschtThrough the posting of a fellow blogger, Amy Sue Nathan, I have become aware that Hanukkah begins on Monday. Hanukkah is the 8-day Jewish Festival of Lights “commemorating the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd century BCE”.(Wikipedia) Sadly, I’ve been too busy running to Christmas concerts and shopping malls to notice other things going on around me. This one of the side-effects of the all-consuming nature of Christmas, unfortunately. But I digress. Her post made me remember something that I always look forward to each year which always marks the arrival of Hanukkah. I am not Jewish, nor do I know many people who are, but that does not in anyway detract from my enjoyment of what has become somewhat of a tradition.

Each year, on the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) Radio, the (soon to be if its not already) classic Bone Button Borscht is read by Barbara Budd. Barbara Budd is the co-host of the radio show “As it Happens” which airs each week night and has become synonymous with the reading of the story. Barbara’s lively rendition has captured the hearts of listeners all across Canada. At other times of the year, she recounts the story live at various venues across the country. I was afraid that I may have missed it this year, but hopefully the reading will air on Monday’s show.

Bone Button Borscht is written by Aubrey Davis who is a Canadian author and storyteller from Toronto, Ontario. His story is an adaptation of the Grimm Brothers’ tale Stone Soup. Written for children, the warm-hearted tale tells of a beggar who enters a town late at night with the wish for the hot meal. He asks for help from the townfolk, who seem to have forgotten what it was to help one another. Soon he shows them the meaning of giving and cooperation. I can’t pinpoint exactly what it is that captured my imagination in the story, whether it was the way the story is told, the ethnic spin on it, or the kind message it cleverly imparts. Or perhaps its a combination of all three.

I wish that I could share it with you, through a podcast or the like, but it doesn’t seem available. If you are able to tune into the CBC and “As it Happens” this week, you may be lucky enought to catch it. If not, and you’d like to read it the book is available through Amazon.com or other book retailers. Or if you’d like to listen to Barbara’s audio version, you can purchase the CD through the CBC website.

I hope you enjoy the story as much as I do and to all of you celebrating Hanukkah, have a happy one!


4 thoughts on “A Canadian Tradition – Hanukkah and “Bone Button Borscht”

  1. thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this book — i know a lot of kids who would love this story and am going to get it for them! 🙂


  2. I’ve never heard of Bone Button Borscht, but it sounds great. Don’t you love hearing a story read aloud? There’s something so mesmerizing about hearing the voice bring words to life.


  3. Absolutely, Joanne! I’ve recently started buying audio books so I have something to listen to while I exercise or while I’m driving the car. Its a great alternative to music and very enjoyable.


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