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OUR FIRST PAGE OF SEVERAL PAGES OF Children's Books (with Young Adult and Humor Books on about the fourth page)
To Save loading time, we don't have many bookcovers, but by clicking the listing box, you can see the cover art, read reviews, or buy the book tax free

[book cover click here] Kibitzers and Fools
by Simms Taback
Viking (September 2005)
Ages 4-8. A saying: It pays to have a little chutzpah (nerve). With Old World charm, universal humor, and just a bit of chutzpah, Simms Taback offers this lively spin on thirteen playful tales-as only he could. Paired with his trademark vibrant and hilarious artwork, these stories illustrate ultimate universal truths and important life lessons, from the difference between a shlemiel and a shlimazel to the idea that just because you can talk doesn't mean you make sense.Taback delivers the perfect combination of wisdom and humor-just the way your zayda (grandpa) would. Click the book cover above to read more.

[book cover click here] Bee-bim Bop!
by Linda Sue Park, Ho Baek Lee (Illustrator)
Clarion (September 2005)
Hurry Mama Hurry
Gotta Shop Shop Shop
Hungry Hungry Hungry
For some bee-bim bop
Ages 4-8. From School Library Journal PreSchool-Grade 2-In the tradition of Grace Lin's Dim Sum for Everyone! (Knopf, 2001) and The Ugly Vegetables (Charlesbridge, 1999), Park introduces preschoolers to the culinary culture of Korea. Playful, cartoonlike drawings portray a round-faced girl helping her mother shop and prepare a delicious meal in the kitchen. The illustrations, set against a white background, are very appealing. Each spread presents a detailed and busy kitchen scene enhancing the rhyming text. The name of the dish is delightful, and children will want to chime in on Hungry hungry hungry/for some BEE-BIM BOP! and variations on the catchy refrain. The verses contain many of the preparation steps and ingredients and some readers may have difficulty keeping the rhythm, but with a bit of practice, the rhyme works well. A recipe follows the story and in the author's note, Park explains that bee-bim bop means mix-mix rice. A fine addition to any collection, this book is a terrific way to introduce Korean culture to young children.
Rice goes in the middle
Egg goes right on top
Mix It. Mix it like crazy
Time For bee-bim bop
Click the book cover above to read more.

[book cover click here] The Mystery Bear: A Purim Story
by Leone Adelson, Naomi Howland (Illustrator)
Clarion (September 2005)
Ages 4-8. Grade 1-3-When Little Bear wakes up early from hibernation, he is hungry. He follows his nose to where a family is celebrating Purim with a lively parade outside their home. He is invited to join them, and they all marvel at his clever costume. Everyone has an idea of which villager might be disguised beneath the fur-except a boy named Itzik. He is wearing a bear suit, and repeatedly insists that their guest is a real animal, but no one believes him. Hours of food, drink, and dancing later, Little Bear nods off just before the Purim play is to start. Various people prod him to join in until finally he wakens with a loud roar and shows his big teeth. All of the partygoers flee, including Little Bear, who stumbles home for the rest of his long nap. With a muted palette and folksy touches, Howland's appealing gouache paintings perfectly capture the flavor of the Jewish festivities that signal the end of winter. A note explains the history of the festival of Purim. Children will appreciate the fun of a family gathering with an uninvited and unexpected guest and will enjoy learning more about the holiday. Click the book cover above to read more.

[book cover click here] Hayyim's Ghost
by Eric A. Kimmel, Ari Binus (Illustrator)
Pitsopany (September 2004)
Ages 4-8. A classic Jewish tale. Hayyim wakes up one morning only to find out that the entire town thinks he's "gone to Heaven." But he's still here! With the help of the Rabbi, Hayyim sets out to find out what really happened. A humorous "Kimmelesque" story that children and adults will enjoy. Eric A. Kimmel has written over 50 children's books, winning The Caldecott and Children's Choice awards, as well as The 2004 Storytelling World Award for The Brass Serpent and The National Jewish Book Finalist Award for Why the Snake Crawls on its Belly. The secret to Eric's incredible success lies in his love of storytelling. "I read my story aloud over and over again," he reveals, "trying to capture the music and rhythm of the words." Click the book cover above to read more.

[book cover click here] The Doll with the Yellow Star
by Yona Zeldis McDonough, Kimberly Bulcken Root (Illustrator)
Schwartz Henry Holt, September 2005
Ages 9 - 12
Nine-year-old Claudine doesn't want to leave her much-loved home in France to go live in America, not without her parents. But she knows about the shortages, about the yellow stars Jews must wear, and about Adolf Hitler. And she knows that there are some things she needs to do even when she doesn't want to. It's wartime, and there is much that is different now. There are more things that Claudine will lose to this terrible war. But not everything that is lost must be lost forever. Here is a moving story about lost and found lives, and the healing power of love. Click the book cover above to read more.

[book cover click here] DYBBUK: A VERSION
September 30, 2005. Holiday House
Ages 9 - 12
Sender, the richest man in town, only wants the best for his daughter, Leah. Her husband-to-be must be extremely wealthy. But when Leah and Konin, an orphaned scholar, fall in love, Sender recalls a pact he made long ago with his best friend: If one man had a daughter and the other a son, the two would be married. Though Konin is the son of his beloved friend, Sender cannot bear to permit the poor scholar to wed Leah. Konin dies of a broken heart once he hears Leah has been promised to another. Konin has his revenge, though, on Leah's wedding day when his spirit inhabits her body and refuses to leave. Click the book cover above to read more.

[book] Chicken Soup by Heart
by Esther Hershenhorn, with Rosanne Litzinger (Illustrator))

October 2002. Round and warm. It was a very nice Sunday in the middle of spring, in the middle of breakfast, when Rudie Dinkins heard his mama say that Rudie's after school and sick-day sitter, Mrs. Gittel, had the flu. But Mrs. Gittel is more than the sitter, isn't she? She is Rudie's older friend. Rudie goes down the hall to Mrs. Gittel's apartment and hears 13 "a-choos" before he even knocks. When he's sick, Mrs. Gittel makes him chicken soup. So, with his mother's help, Rudie, a nice boychik, cooks a batch of chicken soup using Mrs. Gittel's secret ingredient: sweet memories of their friendship! The soup requires at least three sweet stories about the person who will be consuming the soup. And soon Mrs. Gittel, the Chicken Soup Queen, is feeling good as new! (if Arthur hadn't moved so far away, maybe Arthur could have made the soup? No?) She is well enough to help Rudie who has a Tummy ache. Esther Hershenhorn's charming and poignant story accompanied by Rosanne Litzinger's warm, colorful illustrations will leave you craving your own tasty bowl of Chicken Soup by Heart in this heartwarming tale of friendship. Is mommy crying on that illustration because Rudie is so sweet you can bottle him as medicine, or is it because she is peeling an onion for the soup? Please be sure to read the recipe aloud at the end. .

[book cover click here] Shlemiel Crooks
by Anna Olswanger, Paula Goodman Koz (Illustrator)
NewSouth Books (May 30, 2005)
Ages 4 - 8
Ths beautifully illustrated books evokes a bygone era and celebrates a past Yiddish world. In the middle of the night on a Thursday, two crooks - "onions should grow in their navels" - drove their horse and wagon to the saloon of Reb Elias Olschwanger at the corner of Fourteenth and Carr Streets in St. Louis. This didn't happen yesterday. It was 1919. Reb Elias, you should know, didn't have a sit-down kind of saloon with men coming in to guzzle whiskey. Oh, no! Reb Elias had the kind of saloon with housewives-grandmas even-coming in to buy bottles of wine and brandy, unopened of course and strictly kosher, for the Jewish Sabbath. He was the only one in St. Louis selling kosher wines back then. Listen, he also sold kosher cognac-that's a kind of brandy-and mead, which is made out of honey and goes down easy. For the children, he kept in the back a barrel of pretzels with lots of thick salt on them. Meanwhile, the two crooks - potatoes should sprout in their ears - were stealing crates of Passover wine shipped special that year to Reb Elias on a boat from the Land of Israel. Reb Elias paid a little more-okay, he paid a lot more-for that wine. Usually he was buying his Passover stock from the Manischewitz family in Cincinnati. But after Mr. Balfour-excuse me, Lord Balfour-a big politician in England, promised to make a home for the Jews in the Land of Israel, Reb Elias thought maybe they could use the extra business over there. The Jews swatting mosquitoes overseas shouldn't have only watery soup and a little goat's milk to drink.
Click on the cover above to read more.

[book cover click here] ANNE FRANK
by Josephine Poole, Angela Barrett (Illustrator)
Hutchinson (June 2, 2005) Ages 4 - 8
The life of Anne Frank, from birth until being taken from the hidden attic by the Nazis, is presented in this haunting, meticulously researched picture book. It is a compelling yet easy-to-understand "first" introduction to the Holocaust as witnessed by Anne and her family. The stunningly evocative illustrations by Angela Barrett are worth a thousand words in capturing for young Americans what it must have felt like to be Anne Frank, a spirited child caught in the maelstrom of World War II atrocities. A detailed timeline of important events in Europe and in the Frank family is included. Click the book cover above to read more.
To read the book online, go to

[book cover click here] DAD ARE YOU THE TOOTH FAIRY
by Jason Alexander
Ages 4 - 8
Orchard. June 2005
When Gaby overhears some older kids on the playground saying that the tooth fairy is just make-believe, he goes straight to his father to find out the truth. The enchanting tale his dad tells him of a time long ago when mysterious and magical creatures lived on the earth will delight and entertain children and adults alike. For any child who has ever wondered about the existence of the tooth fairy, this original and reassuring story will satisfy their curiosity and give them the power to believe magical things can happen. Click the book cover above to read more.

[book cover click here] In God's Hands
by Lawrence Kushner, and Gary Schmidt,
MATTHEW J. BAEK (Illustrator)
Ages 5 and up
Jewish Lights Publishing (June 27, 2005)
"When the sun sets and stars fill the sky, the square in the little town grows quiet and still. The cool air of distant hills mingles with the sweet scent of baking bread. The moon rises and glows softly. It's the sort of place where miracles could happen." David and Jacob live in the same little, ordinary town, but it's almost as if they're from different worlds. David is so poor he can barely feed his family. Jacob is so consumed with staying rich he thinks about nothing but money. But the two men have one thing in common: they both believe that miracles are big, magical things that can only happen somewhere else, to someone else. But when Jacob wakes up from a nap in synagogue one day, sure that God has demanded twelve loaves of bread from him, all this changes in amazing ways you'd never expect. A delightful, timeless legend based on Jewish tradition, In God's Hands tells of the ordinary miracles that occur when we really, truly open our eyes to the world around us. Click the book cover above to read more.

[book cover click here] The 2000 Year Old Man Goes To School
by Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner,
James Bennett (Illustrator)
Ages 4 and up
HarperCollins, June 2005
Publishers Weekly: Didn't dinosaurs and cave dwellers exist separately, a bit longer than 2,000 years ago? Never mind. In this loose interpretation of history, based on the authors' skit, Reiner (Tell Me a Scary Story) visits an elementary classroom with the 2000 Year Old Man, a skinny fellow in a snow-white caftan that matches his blowdried mane and beard. "Kids, this is your chance to ask the oldest man in the world anything you want," Reiner announces, prompting earnest, misinformed grade-schoolers to inquire, "How did you know how old you were? There were no calendars!" The Man says he attended "primitive" (not primary) school, where he is pictured with a pterodactyl and woolly mammoth. His wrinkly teacher Mrs. Weinstein, sporting a furry wrap, "was so old that her father was a Neanderthal. In the winter, she wore him to class." The hero went on to Vesuvius University and "got great marks" (from the volcanic eruption). He later met Robin Hood and Shakespeare ("Don't tell me he was a good writer! He had the worst penmanship I ever saw"). Caricaturist Bennett, who illustrated Reiner's and Jerry Seinfeld's picture books, paints naturalistic settings and exaggerates characters' features. His slapstick portraits emphasize the punch lines, while the gags take evident liberties with facts. Die-hard fans will be tempted by this celebrity package, which includes an eight-minute CD of the duo's shtick, but discerning comedians must admit that the preposterous gags lose a bit of their oomph in print. Click the book cover above to read more.

[book cover click here] Love Me Later
by Julie Baer
Ages 4 - 8
Bollix Books (July 1, 2005)
32 pages. Rachel Kamin writes: "In a stream-of-consciousness narrative, Abe interacts with a butterfly in his backyard, talks to his mother about what he wanted to be when he grew up "when he was little," kisses the mezuzah on his front door, eats a banana, spies on his cat and the squirrels outside, accidentally steps on an ant, and watches his dad cook dinner. The text rambles and the short vignettes about Abe's made-up Hebrew word "Punkyum," his Mom's made-up saying "Fredding me," and an incident with a baby-sitter are like inside family jokes that readers will have difficulty relating to and understanding. As with I Only Like What I Like (Bollix, 2003), Baer's cut-paper collages, using found materials, are intricate and unique. The list of hidden items to find is a nice touch, but the endnote and resources about monarch butterflies seem disconnected from the rest of the book. Some readers may admire and appreciate Love Me Later for its creative and experimental artistic approach, but it is unlikely to appeal to the masses.". Click the book cover above to read more.

[book cover click here] Zayda Was A Cowboy
by June Levitt Nislick.
2005, JPS
"The year was 1980. Fifty-two Americans were being held hostage in Iran, and President Carter's efforts to rescue them were not successful ... Ronald Reagan got elected president, John Lennon of the Beatles was shot dead, I drove everyone nuts singing the Doobie Brothers hit 'What a Fool Believes' night and day, and Zayda came to live with us." And so begins the extraordinary story of how one family, and one young boy in particular, are changed forever when Zayda (Yiddish for "grandfather") comes to live with them. At first the young narrator, Bill, is resistant to all the changes in the house: Zayda spooks his friends, tries to get Bill to speak Yiddish, and demands strange foods like herring. But as Zayda starts telling Bill and his brother Danny the fascinating story of his life, a story filled with many extraordinary dangers and adventures, the boys begin to see their grandfather in a whole new light. From why, as a young boy, he was forced to flee his Russian village for America to how he eventually became a cowboy, Zayda holds the boys captive with his amazing tale. Like Zayda's grandsons, young readers -- and their parents and teachers -- will also be entranced by Zayda's saga. While the characters are fictional, Zayda's experiences are historically correct and are a colorful retelling of a fascinating yet little-known time of Jewish-American history. This book, like Zayda himself -- funny, touching, and memorable -- is destined to be a favorite of Jewish and non-Jewish children alike, teachers, librarians, and educators for many years to come. Click the book cover above to read more.

[book cover click here] In the Promised Land
Lives of Jewish Americans
by Doreen Rappaport, Cornelius Van Wright (Illustrator)
2005, HarperCollins
Booklist writes: Ages Gr. 4-7. Rappaport presents an eclectic group of Jewish Americans whose lives show what has been achieved in "the promised land." Biographies of one page (the rest of the spread is taken up with art) have a you-are-there feeling: "Ten thousand people were jammed together near the Mississippi River for a free performance" begins the introduction to Harry Houdini, for instance. There's a good mix of well- and lesser-known people here, including Asser Levy, who fought against anti-Jewish laws put into place by New Amsterdam's Peter Stuyvesant; Jacob Davis, who helped invent blue jeans; and Steven Spielberg. Although the brevity of the profiles leads to gaps (readers will need to extrapolate the exact year of Olympic gold-medalist Lillian Copeland's win), and there are some awkward transitions, children will come away with an idea of how Jews and the U.S. have benefited one another. The watercolor art is attractive and adds flavor to the biographies. A short reading list and lists of Web sites and selected resources are appended. Click the book cover above to read more.

[book cover click here] Lost in America
by Marilyn Sachs
Ages 9 - 12
Roaring Brook Press (2005)
Hozel Rochman in Booklist write: Whether dealing with the harrowing story of a Holocaust survivor or with the daily details of trying to be a real American girl, Sachs' story, based on the real-life experience of a Jewish teenager, unfolds quietly. In 1943 Nicole, 14, is at a friend's when the Gestapo arrests her family in her small French town. After the war she waits for their return, until, in an absolutely unforgettable scene, a weeping survivor tells Nicole that her parents and baby sister died in Auschwitz. At 17, Nicole emigrates to join relatives in the Bronx--not that they really want her--and she struggles to find work, friends, and a home of her own. The history is authentic; in fact, there may be too much about how Nicole shops, talks, and dates. It's the big picture that leaves the deepest impression, revealing that many Americans felt untouched by the war and didn't want to know about it. Without rhetoric, this novel ensures that readers learn the real history Click the book cover above to read more.

[book cover click here] THE STORY OF RUTH
By Maxine Rose Schur
August 2005, KAR BEN
For ages 5 - 9. A fresh story on Ruth and Naomi for kids. Click the book cover above to read more.

[book cover click here] [book cover click here] [book cover click here] The Journey That Saved Curious George
The True Wartime Escape of Margret and H.A. Rey
by: Louise W Borden; Illustrated by Allan Drummond
September 2005. Houghton Mifflin
Ages 9 - 12 or more
In 1906, Hans Augusto Reyersbach was a boy growing up in Hamburg, Germany, a port city with canals and a thousand bridges . . . and the River Elbe that ran to the North Sea ...
In 1940, Hans and Margret Rey fled their Paris home as the German army advanced. They began their harrowing journey on bicycles, pedaling to Southern France with children's book manuscripts among their few possessions. Louise Borden combed primary resources, including Hans Rey's pocket diaries, to tell this dramatic true story. Archival materials introduce readers to the world of Hans and Margret Rey while Allan Drummond dramatically and colorfully illustrates their wartime trek to a new home. Follow the Rey's amazing story in this unique large format book that resembles a travel journal and includes full-color illustrations, original photos, actual ticket stubs and more. A perfect book for Curious George fans of all ages. Click the book cover above to read more.
From the NYTimes... "Curious George is every 2-year-old sticking his finger into the light socket, pouring milk onto the floor to watch it pool, creating chaos everywhere. One reason the mischievous monkey is such a popular children's book character is that he makes 4- to 6-year-olds feel superior: fond memories, but we've given all that up now. In the years since the first book was published in the United States in 1941, "George" has become an industry. The books have sold more than 27 million copies. There have been several "Curious George" films, including an animated one featuring the voice of Will Ferrell that is scheduled for release this February, and theater productions, not to mention the ubiquitous toy figure... . But in truth, "Curious George" almost didn't make it onto the page. A new book, "The Journey That Saved Curious George: The True Wartime Escape of Margret and H. A. Rey" (Houghton Mifflin), tells of how George's creators, both German-born Jews, fled from Paris by bicycle in June 1940, carrying the manuscript of what would become "Curious George" as Nazis prepared to invade. ... For her research, Ms. Borden combed the Rey archives of the de Grummond Children's Literature Collection at the University of Southern Mississippi, interviewed people who knew them and traced their journey through letters and postmarks. Hans Reyersbach was born in Hamburg in 1898 into an educated family, and lived near the Hagenbeck Zoo, where he learned to imitate animal sounds, as well as to draw and paint. During World War I, Mr. Reyersbach served in the German Army; afterward, he painted circus posters for a living. After studying at two German universities, he went to Rio de Janeiro in the mid-1920's, looking for a job. He wound up selling bathtubs on the Amazon. Margarete Waldstein, who was born in 1906, also in Hamburg, had a more fiery personality. After Hitler began his rise, she left Hamburg to become a photographer in London. In 1935, she too went to Rio. Mr. Reyersbach had first seen her as a little girl sliding down the banister of her family's Hamburg home, and now they met again. They eventually married, and founded an advertising agency. Margarete changed her name to "Margret" and Hans changed his surname to "Rey," reasoning that Reyersbach was difficult for Brazilians to pronounce. Crucially, the two became Brazilian citizens.... The Reys ended up in the Parisian neighborhood of Montmartre, where they began writing and illustrating children's books. In 1939, they published "Raffy and the 9 Monkeys." Mr. Rey drew the illustrations, and his wife helped to write the stories. Hans initially had sole credit for the books, but eventually Margret's name was added. "We worked very closely together and it was hard to pull the thing apart," she later said. ... The Reys found shelter in a farmhouse, then a stable, working their way by rail to Bayonne, and then to Biarritz by bicycle again. They were Jews, but because they were Brazilian citizens, it was easier to get visas. One official, perhaps thinking that because of their German accents they were spies, searched Mr. Rey's satchel. Finding "Fifi," and, seeing it was only a children's story, he released them. They journeyed to Spain, then to Portugal, eventually finding their way back to Rio. "Have had a very narrow escape," Mr. Rey wrote in a telegram to his bank. "Baggage all lost have not sufficient money in hand." .. Click to read more....


[book cover click here] My Bar/Bat Mitzvah
A Memory And Keepsake (Spiral-bound)
by Edward Hoffman, Ph.D.
2005, Chronicle
A bar or bat mitzvah is the traditional Jewish ceremony for welcoming a boy or girl into Jewish adulthood-a time for blessing, celebration, and reflection. This beautiful journal, by the author of The Kabbalah Deck and the Jewish Holiday & Sabbath Journal, captures the emotions and events surrounding this special time. With fill-in and paste-in activities that are fun, festive, and thoughtful, it's the perfect way to preserve memories of the momentous occasion. Click the book cover above to read more.

[book] Jewish Literacy: The Most Important Things to Know About the Jewish Religion, Its People and Its History by Joseph Telushkin
($25 before discount) Hardcover - 688 pages. Morrow. 1991. In this collection of 346 important facts about Judaism and its people, Telushkin ranges through all of Jewish history and literature to extract the enduring concepts one needs to know in order to be a well-informed, modern Jew.
Click here to BUY this book for 30% OFF its list price

[book] Biblical Literacy: The Most Important People, Events, and Ideas of the Hebrew Bible by Joseph Telushkin
($25 before discount) Hardcover (October 1997) Morrow. I keep this one by my bed. Encyclopedic in scope, but dynamic and original in its observations and organization, Biblical Literacy makes available in one volume the Bible's timeless stories of love, deceit, and the human condition; its most important laws and ideas; and an annotated listing of all 613 laws of the Torah.
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[book] Jewish Wisdom: Ethical, Spiritual, and Historical Lessons from the Great Works and Thinkers by Joseph Telushkin
($25 before discount) Hardcover - 663 pages (September 1994) Morrow. A companion volume to Jewish Literacy sets texts from chosen Jewish passages, ranging from the Talmud to modern writings, in a historical perspective while explaining why they are vital and challenging to contemporary Jews.
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[book] Words That Hurt Words That Heal: How to Choose Words Wisely and Well by Joseph Telushkin
($14 before discount) Paperback - 240 pages (September 1998). Telushkin offers advice on how to kick the habit of Lashon Hara, gossip, and words that hurt. Rabbi Telushkin explains the harm done by spreading gossip, teaches why anger, criticism, and lying destroy any possibility of true communication, and shows how to turn every exchange into an opportunity.
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[book] Book of Blessings: A New Prayer Book for the Weekdays, the Sabbath, and the New Moon Festival by Marcia Falk.
($50 less 30%) Hardcover-608 pages (August 1996) Harper San Francisco. A landmark prayer book by one of Judaism's foremost translators and poets that couples timeless wisdom with a contemporary perspective. Revitalizing old traditions and establishing new ones, Falk presents a ground-breaking collection of blessings, poems, meditations and rituals
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[book] Back to the Sources: Reading the Classic Jewish Texts by Barry W. Holtz.
($13 less 20%) Paperback Reprint edition (June 1986) A priceless source book for understanding and putting into perspective Jewish texts. What came first? Mishnah, Talmud, etc.
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[book] Complete Idiot's Guide to Jewish History and Culture
Paperback - 416 pages (January 1999). This is an excellent introductory book, even though the title has the word idiot in it. It is actually written by a respected Rabbi from YU. The "Complete Idiot's Guide" contains easy-to-follow coverage of all of Jewish history, including profiles of Biblical, religious, and political leaders, such as Abraham, Moses, King David, and Golda Meir. Click to read more about this book.
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[book] Great Jewish Men by Elinor Slater, Robert Slater
Here are biographies of 100 Jewish men who have had a large impact in their respective fields. Includes a section of 50 thumbnail sketches. Click to read more about this book.
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[book] Great Jewish Women by Elinor Slater, Robert Slater
Here are biographies of 100 Jewish women who have had a large impact in their respective fields. From the biblical Deborah to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the individuals profiled in this volume are the authors' considered choice for Jewish women who have had the greatest impact on their respective fields.. Click to read more about this book.
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How about "Today I am a Fountain Pen by Israel Horowitz?
Hee Hee

[book] Abraham Joshua Heschel : Prophetic Witness by Kaplan Edward K., Samuel H. Dresner, Edward K. Kaplan
Abraham Joshua Heschel (1907-1972) was one of the outstanding Jewish thinkers of the 20th century. A renowned American theologian and interpreter, he was a living example of holiness, compassion, and vehement dedication to social justice. This book, the first of two volumes, is the only comprehensive biography of the preeminent religious thinker. 34 illustrations. Click to read more about this book.
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[book] The Language of Truth: The Torah Commentary of Sefat Emet by Judah Aryeh Leib Alter (The Gerrer Rebbe), translated by Dr. Arthur Green (Translator)
Hardcover - 408 pages (Winter 98) JPS. Professor/Rabbi Arthur Green, of Penn, RRC, JTS, and Brandeis, to name a few, scholar and specialist in Rabbi Nahman of Bratslav, has translated the Sfat Emes by the Gerrer Rebbe. I picked this up while preparing a dvar torah in the Spring of 1999, and was drawn to the Gerrer's excellent commentaries of Torah. A fascinating translation of the rabbi's writings.
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[book] Reveille for Radicals by the late Saul D. Alinsky
One of the greatest books for a teenage redical ever written. First published in 1946 and updated in 1969 with a new Introduction and Afterword, this volume represents the fullest statement of the political philosophy and practical methodology of one of the most important figures in the history of American radicalism. Like Thomas Paine before him, Saul Alinsky, through the concept and practice of community organizing, was able to embody for his era both the urgency of radical political action and the imperative of rational political discourse. His work and writing bequeathed a new method and style of social change to American communities that will remain a permanent part of the American political landscape.. Click to read more about this book.
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[book] The Activist's Handbook: A Primer for the 1990s and Beyond by Randy Shaw
When I became a bar Mitzvah, I was a member of the SSSJ, Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry. Do you remember that group? I also read Vorspan in the public library. I organized a boycott of a Soviet Performance Troupe when it came to Scranton PA. Unfortunately no one boycott it, but I learned from the experience. Anyway, do you want to raise a young organizer? Get this book then. The keyword in the title is "handbook". This book has detailed examples of popular struggles in the US in a wide variety of areas: affordable housing, crime prevention, ecology, AIDS and more..
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[book] Tanakh: A New Translation of the Holy Scriptures According to the Traditional Hebrew Text
An excellent compact translation from the Jewish Publication Society.
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[book] The Jewish Holidays : A Guide & Commentary by Michael Strassfeld, Arnold M. Eisen (Contributor)
An excellent guide to the Jewish Holidays, from one of the co-authors of the famed Jewish Catalog 1, 2, and 3 series of the 1970's.
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[book] My People's Prayer Book: Traditional Prayers, Modern Commentaries : The Amidah Vol 2 by Lawrence A. Hoffman (Editor), Marcia Falk (Contributor), Elliot N. Dorff (Contributor))
I am in my 30's and I still don't understand half of the Amidah. This one is on my list to read. I recommend it as a good source book for any Bar or Bat Mitzvah.
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[book] Heshel's Kingdom by Dan Jacobson
April 1999. The author returns to Lithuania from South Africa in a search for his family's Jewish roots.
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[book] Night Tales from Long Ago by Michael J. Katz
About $50. Aronson Publishing. Hardcover - 562 pages (October 1992). A collection of Jewish tales.
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[book] We Lived There Too : In Their Own Words and Pictures Pioneer Jews and the Westward Movement of America 1630-1930 by Kenneth Libo, Irving Howe
Paperback Reprint edition (December 1985) St. Martin's Press.
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[book] The Market Wedding
by Cary Fagan, Regolo Ricci (Illustrator), and the late Abraham Cahan

2000. Ages 4-8 Susan Scheps of Shaker Heights wrote; "Minnie, who sells hats from a cart, and Morris, who owns a fish stall across the street, fall in love. He convinces her that they should spend all of their savings on a fancy wedding, hoping this will encourage their guests to buy them the finest of gifts. Their friends, however, afraid that their clothes and gifts might not be fine enough, decide not to attend the event. All ends well when, returning from the nearly empty reception hall, bride and groom invite their intended guests to join them in their empty flat, and the friends provide an impromptu party and hand-me-down furnishings. "Nothing was new or fancy or fit for a movie star, but all of it was precious to them." Fagan's tale, set in Toronto's Kensington Market, is based on a turn-of-the-century story for adults by noted Jewish author Abraham Cahan. Ricci's paintings feature muted tones of orange and brown, and include abundant details of market, synagogue, street, and house. Caricaturized faces, patterned carpets and wallpaper, and richly textured clothing add depth to both the illustrations and the story. The tale's ironic humor socks home one of life's basic lessons."

[book] The Legend of Freedom Hill
by Linda Jacobs Altman, Cornelius Van Wright and Ying-Hwa Hu (Illustrators)

2000. Ages 4-8 Librayr Journals writes: "Best friends Rosabel and Sophia are outsiders in gold rush California. Rosabel has freedom papers, but she's the daughter of a runaway slave; Sophia belongs to the only Jewish family in town. When a slave catcher seizes Rosabel's mother, "Miz Violet," the two resourceful girls pan for gold, finally discover it in a cave, and use their claim to buy the freedom of Miz Violet and four other slaves. The informal tone and colloquial language establish a distinctive storyteller's voice. Cultural and historical facts are smoothly integrated into the story, but the focus is squarely on the friendship. Dappled watercolor illustrations provide interesting period details. Dramatic postures and vivid facial expressions reflect and embellish the narrative but occasionally have a contemporary look. Children will identify with the spunky, resourceful girls and enjoy the expeditious resolution. With multicultural and historical themes, this original "legend" will enhance social studies curricula, especially in California."

[book] LET'S NOSH
by Amy Wilson-Sanger

September 2002. A BOARD BOOK. Full-color, 20 pages, 5 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches, Ages 1 to 3. The third book in our World Snacks series will satisfy hungry minds with its introduction to the comfiest of Jewish foods. Pages burst with bagels, knishes, tsimmes, and latkes-and lots and lots of matzoh. There's even... a scoop of noodle kugel in my fancy-schmancy bowl next to fruit-filled hamentaschen and some nutty rugelach rolls. Filled with tasty mixed media and cut-paper collages, Let's Nosh! will have bubelahs large and small coming back for seconds.

by Amy Wilson-Sanger

September 2002. A BOARD BOOK. Ages 1 to 3. Tacos, frijoles, tortillas, oh my! In this second World Snacks title, Amy Wilson Sanger serves up some sizzling Mexican treats for you and your little gourmet. From burritos to quesadillas to molé, lively mixed media and cut-paper collages take readers on a tour of their favorite foods of Mexico. Sure to satisfy faster than you can say "More, por favor!"

by Amy Wilson-Sanger

September 2001. A BOARD BOOK. Ages 1 to 3. For families that place good food high on their list of priorities, educating their wee ones about the joys of sushi may be far more important than teaching about bunnies and balls and flowers. But even those who don't know futomaki from hatahata will relish the playful rhymes and lush collages in Amy Wilson Sanger's wonderful First Book of Sushi. Miso in my sippy cup, / tofu in my bowl. / Crab and avocado / fill my California roll.

[skipping Hebrew school]Why hang out and hide during Hebrew School? Why hide during the sermon, waiting for the service to end? It's better to buy a Jewish book and read a little. No?

By Fran Manushkin. Illus by Uri Shulevitz

September 2001. Age 9-12. From Eve to Esther to Yael, full page illustrations, with insightful stories on biblical women. Biblical stories of valorous women-from who have helped shape the human character and spirit. Rarely, though, has the essence of these heroines been revealed as poignantly as it is in Daughters of Fire. Fran Manushkin's sensitive retellings of stories from the Bible and Jewish tradition portray strength and honor, but also jealousy and fear, and Caldecott Medalist Uri Shulevitz's heroic illustrations highlight the bold, passionate essence of each woman and her world. The result is a collection of tales with heroines who are, above all, human

By Natasha Wing

Ages 4-8 Pablo wants to bring a treat from his parent's panderia to school to share with his classmates. Maybe he will bring chango bars, or a challah that his father has braided, or a pan dulce from his mother, or an empanada, or maybe a micture of his mom and father, the jalapeno bagels?? A glossary is given in the back of Spanish and Yiddish terms.

[book] Shoes for Amalie

2000. Ages 4-8. Lucien is a young French boy who lives on a quiet French farm. However, his life is changed by the invasion of the Nazis. He sees his father and brother engaged in secret work and his mother sheltering strangers in their farmhouse. His family dismisses Lucien's offers to help because he is the youngest, but finally he gets the chance when a young girl, Amélie, comes to stay. Lucien discovers that Amélie is not like other girls. A city girl, she knows about many different things that Lucien has never heard of - cinemas, movie stars and cowboys. Amélie educates him about the world, and Lucien introduces her to the wonders of nature and the life of a farmer. He keeps her busy and, through their work and play, keeps her mind off the dangers she faces. As a gesture of friendship, Lucien gets his grandfather, also excluded from daily activities by his age and infirmity, to teach him to make sturdy sabots (wooden shoes) for Amélie to play in. Sadly, Lucien's gift is never delivered. Amélie has been moved to another location, and Lucien learns that he cannot send his present. Amélie is just a cover name; he does not even know who his friend is. Based on the true stories of the villagers and Hugenot farmers in the Plateau Vivarais-Lignon region of France who sheltered approximately 5000 Jewish and other refugees during the Nazi terror.

[book cover, click me] 10 Great Jewish Children's Stories
by Chaya Burnstein

Pitspopany Press. Ages 4-8. Double-spread Shabbat and Holiday stories with simple "Do You Know That..." facts at the end of each story. The illustrations have hidden holiday items scattered throught the pictures

[book cover, click me] Hebrew Alphabet Coloring Book
by Chaya Burnstein

Pitspopany Press. Ages 4-8. Hebrew alphabet coloring book

[book cover, click me] Ten Holiday Jewish Children's Stories
by Barbara Golden, Jeffrey Allon

Pitspopany Press. Ages 5-8. Ten stories, each related to a historical event or a tradition (blowing the shofar, sleeping in the sukkah, etc.) that springs from a Jewish holiday, are included in this spirited collection. With many quotes, simple language, and some large, double-spread pictures just right for showing to small groups, the collection is a natural for storytellers. Several of the tales are framed in a dialogue between a loving grandmother and her grandchildren, and humor is sometimes an ingredient: the people in "Wake up and Beat the Drums" could live in Chelm. But Goldin gives each tale a deeper meaning, which she reinforces with questions at the end of the tales. The questions will help listeners think about the message in the story and how it relates to their own Jewish lives.

[book cover, click me] Ten Best Jewish Children's Stories
by Daniel Sperber, Chana Sperber, Jeffrey Allon (Illustrator)

Pitspopany Press. Ages 4-8. Stories from the Talmud and ancient Jewish sources. Each illustrated story expresses a wonderful moral concept that young chidren can readily relate to. Includes YOSEFS LOVE FOR THE SHABBAT.

[book cover, click me] Kids Love Jewish Holiday Crafts
by Tracey Agranoff

Pitspopany Press. Ages 4-8. Contains crafts for every major Jewish Holiday as well as holidays associated with Holocaust Remembrance Day and Israel Independence Day. Includes full color pictures of each craft and step-by-step photographs showing how to make each craft. Pages of Jewish Symbol Patterns are included in the back of the book. My favorites... The Rosh Hashana Apple shaped sachet of apple potpourri;

[book cover, click me] The 40 Greatest Jewish Stories Ever Told!
by Peninnah Schram, Gloria Goldreich, Rabbi Daniel, Barbara Diamond Goldin, Jeffrey Allon (Illustrator), Rabbi Daniel, Chana Sperber

Pitspopany Press. Ages 4-8. Stories from the Bible, the Talmud, Rabbinic Lore, and Jewish Tradition are included in this work. Each of the four books in the slipcase is fully illustrated. At the end of each of the 40 stories is a "Now Consider This" section designed to help the child and parent explore the moral message integrated into each tale. The first collection of stories by professional Jewish storytellers. Each author has written a number of books and has a dedicated following. The individual volumes sell for $16.95 each, which means that the end purchaser gets one book free in the slipcase. The four volumes in the slipcase are each illustrated in color. There has been significant editing of the volumes in the sipcase which make the stories even more readable.

By Amy Hest with Illustrations by Claire A. Nivola

September 2001. Age 4-7. Candlewick. Evokes the FEELING of Shabbat. Jennie is spending the day with Nana. They shop, cook, welcome Shabbat guests. Nana lights Shabbat Candles, her dress touches the dress of Jennie, there is silence in the house as Nana whispers her Sabbath prayers as the candles are kindled.

by Deborah Da Costa, Illustrated by C Van Wright and Ying-Hwa Hu

October 2001. Ages 6-10. Avi lives in the Jewish Qurter of the Old City in Jerusalem. Hamudi lives in the Muslim Quarter. A cat visits both boys homes, scrounging for food. When the cat doesn't appear for several weeks at either boy's home, Hamudi and Avi become alarmed. When the trimmed down cat visits Avi, Avi follows her to Hamudi's. The boys argue over the cat, it begins to snow, and the boys stop arguing and follow the cat to her alley and a box of her kittens. The boys must work together to save her and her brood from freezing, and they learn that peace is better than argument. A glossary at the end of the book defines the Hebrew and Arabic words sprinkled into the text.

by Richard Ungar

November 2001. Ages 7-10. A revision of the classic Chelm tale illustrated in the style of visual folklorists (Chagall). Village members try to capture the moon. The cook, the carpenter, the weaver, the musician, and Rachel try to capture the bright moon. Who will succeed?

by Arthur Yorink. Illustrated by David Small

October 2001. Ages 5-9. Shirley and Moe bid farewell to their visitors from outer space, as well as all the family members and FBI agents and military personnel who came for dinner. Maybe Shirley wouldn't mind catering the aliens' sister's wedding near Uranus with her meatballs? When Shirley and Moe go to visit the planet Nextoo (Next too Uranus), all heck breaks loose, and the alien-Uncle-Irving thinks that Shirley is an invader and not the caterer.

[book] Ghosts and Golems : Haunting Tales of the Supernatural
by Malka Penn (Compiler)
Jewish Publication Society

Summer 2001. Age 9-12. Spooky. Melvin Bukiet wrote:, "On the other hand, the best stories in the collection, notably Jerry Raik's "Forgive Me" and Carol Snyder's "My Grandma's Ghost," simply allow life and its mysteries to occur on the page. Mr. Raik places his young hero in a gritty urban setting, complete with el trains and bodegas, games of Salugi (keep away) and, eventually, the ghost of a bitter old woman who has squandered her life. It's a testimony to Mr. Raik's trust in children that several youngsters whom I asked to read his story found it to be genuinely scary. By being willing to terrify, Mr. Raik is able to pose serious ethical questions (in his case regarding guilt and recrimination), which, of course, is the real need of all readers and the final test of all writers. Likewise, Ms. Snyder accurately portrays a seder among a batch of her engagingly witty narrator's step-relatives - enough of them, she tells us, to make "an entire staircase." In the midst of the extended-family hubbub, her deceased grandmother returns as hardly more than a whisper. It's a nice, gentle touch. Loosely similar to the work of the Snyder and Raik stories, Rivka Widerman's "The Ghost of Leah Levy" brings a hint of the ominous to the Wild West of today and, via her ghost, yesterday, while Deborah Spector Siegel's "Wings" lovingly recalls a dead grandfather who attends his own shiva..."

[waiting to get in the library]Are you waiting for the doors to the library to open? Stop fogging up the windows, and buy a Jewish book. Enjoy it at home; share it with friends.

[book] Cain and Abel
Finding the Fruits of Peace
by Joani Keller Rothenberg (Illustrator), Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso

October 2001, Jewish Lights Publishing. Reading level: Ages 4-8 Hardcover - 32 pages. A springboard for talking to kids about anger and anger management. Rabbi Sasso (the second woman to be ordained as a rabbi in 1974) served congregation Beth-El Zedeck in Indianapolis with her husband. Rabbi Sasso recasts the biblical tale of Cain and Abel in a way that invites adults and kids to a conversation about anger and our power to deal with it in positive ways. Cain and Abel, the first children, the first brothers, they were so much alike yet so different: Cain a shepherd, Abel a farmer. They lived side by side, surrounded by trees where wonderful, exotic fruits of many kinds grew: orapples, rasdew, and banangerines ripened all on a single branch. The air was sweet with the smell of pinango, limeberry, and waterloupe. But jealousy, anger, and fear took all this away. Cain and Abel's happiness came to an end, and with it, the trees' ability to grow these special fruits. In a world often hurt by violence, this retold biblical story gives children and adults a starting point for discussing anger and its effects on those around us. By harnessing the power we have to deal with our emotions in positive ways, we can once again cultivate the fruits of peace and change the world for the better.

[book] ZIGAZAK! A Magical Hanukkah Night
by Eric A Kimmel. Illustrated by Job Goodell

October 2001. Ages 4-8. Doubleday. It just isn't a Jewish holiday without a new book by Mr Kimmel. Kimmel (the author of Gershon's Monster) tells the story of how there are sparks of good in all things, even in the tricks of little mischievous demons.


[book] Rivka's First Thanksgiving
by Elsa Okon Rael, Maryann Kovalski (Illustrator)

October 2001. Ages 4-8. Publishers Weekly wrote, "After learning about Thanksgiving in school in the 1910s, nine-year-old Rivka succeeds in persuading her immigrant family and her rabbi that it is a holiday for all Americans even Jewish families. Rivka's case to her rabbi (and six of his peers) is impassioned, although some readers may have trouble believing that none of these learned men has heard of the holiday. Kovalski (Queen Nadine) is at her best with scenes of the Lower East Side's bustling streets, but her cartoonish illustrations often clash with Rael's (What Zeesie Saw on Delancy Street) moving message."

[book] Where on Earth is My Bagel?
by Frances Park, Ginger Park, Grace Lin

October 2001. Ages 4-8.
Dear New York,
I would like to order one bagel to go.
Please send it to me as soon as possible.
Respectfully yours,
Yum Yung in Korea
No one knows how the idea of a New York bagel popped into Yum Yung's head -- perhaps it was inspired by a dream, or by listening to sparrows' songs. Yum Yung lives in a part of Korea where there are no New York bagels, and one day he just knows he has to have one. How a New York bagel popped into Yum Yung's head was a mystery. Perhaps it came to him in a dream, smothered with cream cheese. Or maybe he heard sparrows singing of bagel crumbs in Central Park. However it happened, Yum Yung could not stop thinking about a golden brown bagel with a curious hole in the middle. The very idea made his tummy growl and his mouth water. Yum Yung declared: "I want a bagel!" His village in Korea might have many things - lilacs and waterfalls, streams of daring fish. -- but there were no New York bagels. He sends a message from his Korean village via pigeon to New York City for someone to send him one. While he waits, he asks the farmer, the fisherman, and the honeybee keeper for help, but none of them have ever heard of a bagel. They are experts in their craft, but it is not a plow wheel, a life ring, or a circle of bees. When Yum Yung knows just where to get flour, sea salt, and honey. As Yum Yung reaches Oh's Heavenly Bakery, the bird returns without a bagel, but with the recipe. The baker gets the required ingredients from the boy's new friends and makes one huge bagel. "It was so heavenly he could even taste the curious hole in the middle." This timeless fable will make readers giggle with delight and satisfaction as Yum Yung, with the help of his friends, fulfills his bagel dream. The tale illustrates the power of perseverance. With charming gouache illustrations that evoke the intricate and colorful patterns found in Korean fabrics, this story mixes up cultures quite nicely. Bagel shapes abound, including a full moon with a cloud providing the hole in the middle. By the way, Frances and Ginger are sisters, one born in Cambridge, the other in DC.

by Phillip Hoose

August 2001. Coulter writes: Quick--name five noteworthy children in U.S. history. If you're like most, you probably stalled after Sacagawea and Pocahontas. Young people have always gotten short shrift when it comes to the record of American history. And yet, wouldn't the study of history be far more compelling to students if they could relate to figures their own age? Author Phillip Hoose believes so. He found that behind every major event in U.S. history were young people--brave, fearful, poor, rich, adventurous, clever, tragic, curious, and strong. We Were There, Too! examines the lives of dozens of youth who helped shape our nation: Nine months before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama, bus, 15-year-old Claudette Colvin did the very same thing. On one of Columbus's voyages to the New World, 56 (out of 99) crew members were 18 or younger. In 1814 two sisters from Massachusetts, Rebecca Bates, 19, and Abigail, 15, routed approaching British soldiers by playing "Yankee Doodle" on fife and drum. The British, believing an American army was congregating for an attack, turned and fled. And in contemporary times, 13-year-old Ryan White, infected with AIDS, stood up to a school district that wanted to prevent him from going to school, eating in the cafeteria, and having a normal life with his friends.

by An Na

2001. When four-year-old Young Ju and her parents emigrate from Korea to California by plane, the child, who knows that God is in the sky, concludes that America is heaven. "A step from heaven," her uncle corrects her after they arrive. However, life proves to be far from that for the family, which now includes a new baby. While told in the girl's voice as she matures from a preschooler into a capable young woman about to set off to college, the spare but lyrical text has an adult tone. The loosely structured plot is a series of vignettes that touch upon the difficulties immigrants face: adjusting to strange customs, learning a new language, dealing with government bureaucracy, adults working two jobs each, and children embarrassed by their parents' behavior. Woven throughout is the underlying theme of dealing with an alcoholic and abusive father.

[book] Imaginative Inventions: The Who, What, Where, When, and Why of Roller Skates, Potato Chips, Marbles, and Pie (and More!)
by Charise M Harper

Reading level: Ages 4-8. Hardcover - 32 pages (September 2001). Children who are interested in the origins of things will enjoy this whimsical look at how piggy banks, doughnuts, eyeglasses, high-heeled shoes, chewing gum, and more were created. Each of the 14 inventions is covered in a two-page spread. The main text is composed of four-line stanzas that note the date (or time period) of the invention and relate how the idea evolved. The verses are fun and anecdotal, such as the one about the violin-playing inventor of roller skates . "The night of the big party,/with wheeled skates upon his feet,/Joseph glided in while playing/and the crowd said, `Oh, how sweet.'" The busy pages each have a brightly colored background with thematic borders. On the right side of the spread, they list the inventor, place and date of the invention, and interesting facts and statistics about it.

[book] SHANI - HER ADVENTURES BEYOND THE SAMBATYON by Shimon Bakon Editor of Jewish Bible Quarterly) and Patricia Berlyn.
Ages 8-12. En Gedi Books (Zichron Yaakov Israel). Ancient legends say that it is impossible for anyone to cross the River Sambatyon or to reach the mysterious land beyond it. 9 year old Shani must carry an urgent message to Af-bri, Prince of the Ranins and Winds, who dwells in Beyond-Sambatyon. That is why Elijah the Prophet tells her how to hourney all the way from her home in America to the River Sambatyon, and a secret way to cross it. There, Shani is welcomed in the palace of the Sabbath Queen and makes many new friends.
[book] Celebrate! Stories of the Jewish Holidays by Gilda Berger
(list: $18, less 30%) Reading level: Ages 4-8 Hardcover - 128 pages (September 1998). A sparkling collection of stories, recipes, crafts, and commentary introduces readers to the eight major Jewish holidays. Each story is accompanied by three sections: What We Celebrate; How We Celebrate; and Crafts and Food. Suggested activities for each holiday, too.
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[book] Moses and the Angels by Mark H. Podwal (Illustrator), Ileene Smith Sobel and a preface by Elie Wiesel
Hardcover - 80 pages (February 9, 1999). The story of Moses from various sources with great illustrations by Ileene Smith Sobel, winner of the PEN Award. Click to read more about the stories
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by Betty Hicks
Hardcover - 144 pages. August 2002
A humorous fictional story of a sixth grader, Nick. coming to terms with his blended family and new stepmother, and younger stepbrother "Duh-wayne." The shampoo his new mother buys for him smells of cloves, so he smells like a ham, and the portabello mushrooms she serves, well they sound like Porta-potties.

[book] Strudel Stories by Joanne Rocklin
Hardcover - 144 pages (February 9, 1999). It is 1999, and Grandpa Willy has passed away. His grandkids, Lori and Jessica decide that they can keep his memory alive by baking a strudel, a strudel that has been prized in their Jewish family from generation to generation. But the most important ingredient in the recipe is to recite the story Grandpa told them when he made the strudel. Each part of the recipe preparation has its own dramatic family history story that has been passed on for generations. The generations of strudel recipe modifications are included in the book, which are a telling tale in and of themselves. The story reminds me of the Zaydie, who when asked why he lets the grandkids make a mess while planting vegetables, responds that he "isn't growing cucumbers, he is growing children."
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[book] Raisel's Riddle by Erica Silverman, Susan Gaber (Illustrator)
Reading level: Ages 4-8 Hardcover - 40 pages (March 1999) What's more precious than rubies, more lasting than gold? Raisel knows. She learned it from her grandfather, a poor scholar who taught her. When he dies, Raisel finds work in the home of a rabbi. His jealous cook makes Raisel toil from sunup to sundown. And as the Jewish holiday of Purim approaches, Raisel works even harder. The rabbi's son presides over the Purim dinner, and Raisel listens closely when he responds to riddles posed by his guests. Is it possible that this young man can answer Raisel's riddle?

[book] The Very Best Hanukkah Gift by Joanne Rocklin, Catharine O'Neill (Illustrator)
Reading level: Ages 4-8 Hardcover (October 12, 1999). No, don't worry. It is not "The Ice Storm" meets Hanukkah. This is the story of Daniel Bloom, the middle child. He is scared of Rusty, the neighbor's dog, and he has to go visit the house. While his family celebrates Hanukkah, Daniel's dread grows. But then Rusty finds Daniel's missing lucky dreidel. Daniel is warming up to Rusty. And then on the eighth night of Hanukkah, with the candles burning bright, an ice storm knocks out the power and the Blooms' invited party guests can't come to their party. So the Bloom's invite the other building residents, including Rusty, to share their Hanukkah meal.
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[book] How Yussel Caught the Gefilte Fish: A Shabbos Story by Charlotte Herman, Katya Krenina (Illustrator)
Reading level: Ages 4-8 Hardcover - 32 pages (February 1, 1999). When he goes fishing with his father for the first time, Yussel hopes to catch the gefilte fish for his family's Shabbat dinner, but instead he catches a carp, a trout, and a pike. But momma and the spirit of Shabbas know how to transform the catch. Herman evokes that remarkable feeling of a child's growing anticipation and participation in a family celebration
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[book] When the Beginning Began: Stories About God, the Creatures, and Us by Julius Lester, Emily Lisker (Illustrator)
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Hardcover - 112 pages (April 1999) Julius Lester fuses African-American storytelling and the imaginative inquiry of Jewish midrash as he spins tales from the Torah.
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[book] The Uninvited Guest and Other Jewish Holiday Tales by Nina Jaffe, Elivia (Illustrator)
(list: $17 before discount) Reading level: Ages 9-12 72 pages (April 1995) Scholastic. Seven tales with explanations about the holidays, emphasize the mystical and the romantic.
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[book] Mr. Belinsky's Bagels by Ellen Schwartz, Stefan Czernecki (Illustrator)
(list: $17 before discount) Reading level: Ages 4-8 Library Binding - 32 pages (July 1998). Nice Mr. Belinsky has made bagels, and only bagels, for years, and he has a devoted clientele: Mrs. Alperstein likes poppy seed; tough-guy-with-a-big-heart Frankie likes onion; and Jacob, Mr. Belinsky's helper, likes pumpernickel. When a fancy bakery opens across the street, Mr. Belinsky decides to compete by making cakes and cookies. Will he succeed?
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[book] The New Way Things Work by David Macaulay (Illustrator), Neil Ardley
$35 before discount. Reading level: Ages 9-12 Hardcover - 400 pages Revised edition (October 1998) Houghton Mifflin Co. A best-seller. Artistic. Illustrations explaining the ways things work, with new additions for ATM's fax machines, the internet, and more.
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[book] Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul:101 Stories of Life, Love and Learning (Chicken Soup for the Soul Series) Edited by Jack Canfield
$13 before discount. Reading level: Young Adult Paperback - 354 pages (May 1997) Health Communications. This book, the latest in the hugely popular Chicken Soup for the Soul series, contains stories, poems, and cartoons relating to the specific troubles that traumatize teenagers everywhere
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[book] Mrs Katz and Tush - A reading rainbow book. by Patricia Polacco
$7 before our discount. Reading level: Ages 4-8. 1994. A long-lasting friendship develops between Larnel, a young African-American, and Mrs. Katz, a lonely, Jewish widow, when Larnel presents Mrs. Katz with a scrawny kitten without a tail.
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[book] Yettele's Feathers by Joan Rothenberg
Reading level: Ages 4-8. 31 pages (April 1995) Yettele Babbelonski, a widow and a compulsive talker, quickly becomes the town gossip of her East Europe village, until a kind and knowing Rabbi creates a scheme to make her realize the error of her ways. I learned this story as a youth, and I remember it to this day as an admonishment against lashon ha'ra
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[book] The Way Meat Loves Salt: A Cinderella Tale from the Jewish Tradition by Nina Jaffe, Louise August (Illustrator)
$16 before our discount. Reading level: Ages 4-8. 32 pages (September 1998). Henry Holt & Company. Many years ago in Poland, there lived a rabbi who had a wife and three daughters. One day, the rabbi asks his children a powerful question: "How much do you love me?" (Hmmmmmm, sounds like King Lear, no?). His older daughters profess their love in gold and diamonds, but his youngest daughter, Mireleh, declares she loves her father the way meat loves salt. For this remark, she is banished from her father's home. In this flavorful Jewish Cinderella tale, Mireleh's courageous journey is "peppered" with a perfect blend of magic and romance, leading to a reconciliation with her beloved father. Lavishly illustrated in Louise August's bold linocuts, The Way Meat Loves Salt will make a wonderful gift for the Jewish holidays.
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[book] While Standing on One Foot: Puzzle Stories and Wisdom Tales from the Jewish Tradition by Nina Jaffe, Steve Zeitlin, and John Segal (Illustrator)
$7 before our discount. Reading level: Ages 9-12 Paperback Reprint edition (September 1996) Henry Holt. A collection of excellent stories and puzzles for older kids
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[book] When Zaydeh Danced on Eldridge Street by Elsa Okon Rael and Marjorie Priceman
Reading level: Ages 4-9. 40 pages (September 1997). While staying with her grandparents in New York City in the mid-1930s, eight-year-old Zeesie joins in the celebration of Simchat Torah and sees a different side of her stern grandfather.
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[book] What Zeesie Saw on Delancey Street by Marjorie Priceman (Illustrator), Elsa Okon Rael
$16 before our discount. Reading level: Ages 4-8. 32 pages (October 1996). Simon&Schuster, Exuberant paintings bring a sense of playfulness, suspense, and fun to New York City in the 1930s and to Zeesie's first package party--a lively feast of food, song, and dance held to raise funds to friends, family, and immigrants in the Jewish community. Defying orders, Zeesie sneaks into the "money room"--a place where the men anonymously leave or take money according to need--and is inspired to leave her own birthday dollar.
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[book] The Adventures of Hershel of Ostropol by Eric A. Kimmel, Trina Schart Hyman (Illustrator)
$16 before our discount. Reading level: Ages 4-8. 64 pages (October 1995). 10 Yiddish folktales about the trickster Hershel are rooted in the shtetl village community of the nineteenth-century Ukraine. Kimmel says that Hershel was a real character, a wandering beggar, who endeared himself to the common folk by making the pompous and arrogant look foolish.
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[book] Sound the Shofar by Leslie Kimmelman, John Himmelman (Illustrator)
(List Price: $13 before discount) Reading level: Ages 4-8 Hardcover - 32 pages (August 1998) Harpercollins Juvenile Books. A picture book for the very young about Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, by the author and illustrator of "Hanukkah Lights, Hanukkah Nights", and "Hooray! It's Passover." There is a clamor in the house as the relatives (and the cat) gather for the Jewish New Year. Uncle Jake will sound the shofar at services, and we'll all have some apples, challah and honey for the New Year.
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[book] Happy New Year, Beni by Jane Breskin Zalben
(List Price: $14 before discount) Reading level: Ages 4-8 Hardcover (September 1993) Henry Holt & Company. While at Grandma and Grandpa's home for Rosh Hashanah, Sara lights the candles, Beni reads from the high holy day prayer book, and their mischievous cousin Max pulls several pranks.
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[book] The World's Birthday: A Rosh Hashanah Story by Barbara Diamond Goldin.
Harcourt Brace. 1990. Anticipating the forthcoming celebrations of Rosh Hashanah, young Daniel learns that Rosh Hashanah is to commemorate the world's birthday and decides to throw the entire world a great big party.
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[book] How the Rosh Hashanah Challah Became Round by Sylvia B. Epstein,.
($11) 1997. Gefen Books. Age 4-8 reading level. The illustrated story of how the Rosh Hashana Challah became round, and with raisins, no less.
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[book] A Child's First Book of Jewish Holidays by Alfred J. Kolatch.
($15 before discount) Reading level: 4-8. 32 pages (September 1997) Jonathan David Pub.
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[book] Classic Bible Stories for Jewish Children by Alfred J. Kolatch.
($15 before discount) Hardcover - 67 pages (December 1993) From the author of the "Jewish Book of Why" series, Twenty-four Torah stories about such familiar characters as Noah, Joseph, Moses, David and Goliath, Ruth and Naomi, and Daniel.
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[book] Shabbat by Miriam Nerlove
(List Price: $14 before discount) Reading level: Ages 4-8 School & Library Binding - 24 pages (September 1998) Albert Whitman & Co. Nerlove, author of Purim, takes young readers on a trip through the Sabbath in lovely, pale watercolors. The house is cleaned, the challah is prepared, dinner is readied, services are attended, candles kindled, kiddush is made, and Shabbat ends with Havdalah.
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[book] Annie's Shabbat by Cecily Lang (Illustrator), Sarah Marwil Lamstein
($16) Reading level: Ages 4-8 40 pages (September 1997) Albert Whitman & Co. "Shabbat is like a present that we open every week," says Annie. "I'm glad that it comes again and again." Cecily Lang's paper-cut illustrations bring to life Sarah Marwil Lamstein's gentle story of a family's weekly Shabbat preparations.
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[book] Matzo Ball Moon. by Leslea Newman, Elaine Greenstein (Illustrator)
($15 before discount) Reading level: Ages 4-8 Hardcover - 32 pages (March 1998) Clarion Books. A lovely Pesach story. Eleanor and her bubbe (grandmother) prepare matzo balls for the seder. I especially like it because it is about family, tradition, and the fact that Pesach begins on the evening of a full moon.
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