Posts

The Sydney Taylor Shmooze

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LISTEN TO THE PODCAST    |    READ THE TRANSCRIPT    |    VOTE FOR MOCK AWARDS (goes live 1/4/21)     🕮    The Sydney Taylor Shmooze is a mock award blog created in Spring 2020 by Susan Kusel, Chava Pinchuck, and me, in order to encourage discussion of Jewish children's and teen literature eligible for the Sydney Taylor Book Award. In this podcast episode, Susan and Chava join me to talk about how it's going and about how YOU can vote for the mock awards. We also get some advice from other mock award bloggers from Calling Caldecott, Guessing Geisel, and Heavy Medal.   We've got a bonus episode for you too! Hear the full conversation with Julie Danielson from Calling Caldecott, Amy Seto Forrester from Guessing Geisel, and Steven Engelfried from Heavy Medal. Beyond the talk of "mocks," each of them shared favorite secular and Jewish books of the year! LISTEN TO THE PODCAST    |    READ THE TRANSCRIPT   LEARN MORE: The Sydney Taylor Shmooze Vote for the 2021 Moc

The Puppy Test

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LISTEN TO THE PODCAST     |    READ THE TRANSCRIPT     🕮    In December 2020, the world received a wondrous Hanukkah gift: Daveed Diggs’ Puppy for Hanukkah video. I see Puppy for Hanukkah as an excellent model to follow for people who are seeking to create Jewish content for children. This is a podcast about kidlit, so in particular, I’d like to see this model applied to books. What does Puppy for Hanukkah do right, that can also be done by authors, illustrators, editors, designers, and publishers of Jewish children’s books? The most obvious element is Jewish diversity. Front and center are three adorable child actors, all people of color. It’s very refreshing to see Jewish characters of color at the center of a narrative instead of tokenistically included in a crowd scene. An article in The Forward quotes a dad in a Jewish interracial family who responds to this video by saying “Oh my God, we’re not the others.” To translate this into the book world, it would be great to have more b

Theodore Bikel's The City of Light

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LISTEN TO THE PODCAST    |    READ THE TRANSCRIPT:   PART 1   PART 2    |    BUY THE BOOK     🕮    The City of Light is an unusual collaboration between the late Theodore Bikel and his wife Aimee Ginsburg Bikel, based on an autobiographical short story left behind by the noted actor, singer, and activist. I spoke at length to the spirited and charming Aimee, who is a wonderful storyteller in her own right. LEARN MORE: Aimee Ginsburg Bikel's website Theodore Bikel's website The Theodore Bikel Legacy Project Hear City of Light on NPR's Hanukkah Lights 2014 (at the 35 minute mark)  Mandel Vilar Press Aimee's suggestions for Boosting Black Voices: For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf and Wild Beauty: New and Selected Poems , both by Ntozake Shange, plus a bonus boost for Native American voices: Young Water Protectors: A Story About Standing Rock by Aslan Tudor CREDITS: Produced by Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B&

Media Pitch Kit

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A suggestion in the Jewish Kidlit Mavens forum on Facebook inspired the creation of a media pitch kit specifically geared towards Jewish literature for children and young adults. Publicists and authors can consult this kit to learn where to market new Judaic titles. Sections include News Media, Blogs & Podcasts, Awards & Lists, and Events. Created in Google Drive, this is a living document that will be updated as additional resources are discovered.  Find the Media Pitch Kit at TinyURL.com/JewishKidlitPitchKit

Anya and the Dragon

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LISTEN TO THE PODCAST     |    READ THE TRANSCRIPT     |    BUY THE BOOK     🕮    Anya and the Dragon is Sofiya Pasternak's debut, a middle grade Jewish historical fantasy novel. It was recognized by a 2020 Sydney Taylor Honor Award. It will be joined on November 10, 2020 by a sequel, Anya and the Nightingale. Join me for a fascinating conversation with Sofiya about the history behind the fantasy.   LEARN MORE:   Sofiya Pasternack's website Buy Anya and the Dragon   Buy Anya and the Nightingale Sofiya's suggestion for Boosting Black Voices: Color Me In by Natasha Diaz  CREDITS:   Produced by Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel Theme Music: The Freilachmakers Klezmer String Band Facebook Discussion Group: Jewish Kidlit Mavens Facebook Page: Facebook.com/bookoflifepodcast Twitter: @bookoflifepod Support the Podcast: Shop or Donate Your feedback is welcome! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or leave a voicemail at 561-20

Bound in the Bond of Life: Pittsburgh Writers Reflect on the Tree of Life Tragedy

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BUY THE BOOK       🕮    October 27, 2020 is the second anniversary of a horrific act of domestic terrorism, the antisemitic shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA. In memory of the lives lost on that day, I bring you a conversation with the editors of Bound in the Bond of Life: Pittsburgh Writers Reflect on the Tree of Life Tragedy . This book highlights the voices of those who were significantly affected by the deadliest antisemitic act on American soil. Although the gunman killed 11 innocent souls, injured 6, and created deep wounds within the community, he was unable to silence them or disconnect them from their ties to their faith.    I got my Masters of Library Science at the University of Pittsburgh and worked for a few years at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh's Lawrenceville Branch in the 1990s. I love Pittsburgh, so I was especially eager to hear the local perspective from co-editors Beth Kissileff and Eric Lidji . Beth and Eric, can you please each

The Mitzvah of Voting, Part 1

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LISTEN TO THE PODCAST   |  READ THE TRANSCRIPT     🕮    This episode is a call to action for U.S. citizens eligible to vote, and a reminder to listeners everywhere that voting is your superpower. If you are a U.S. citizen eligible to vote in the upcoming presidential election, please do so! For information about how to vote, visit VOTE.ORG . In this special 3-part series, some of your favorite Jewish kidlit authors will be sharing why they vote and they'll give some recommendations for ways to keep our democracy healthy. Listen to PART 2 | PART 3 In each episode of The Book of Life, I ask guests to suggest a tikkun olam action, a way to help repair the world. This special series is MY tikkun olam action. Please help me inspire more people to vote by sharing this podcast as widely as you can, today.   FYI, PART 2 explains how voting can be called a "mitzvah," and includes guests Elissa Brent Weissman, Lee Wind, Barbara Bietz, Jane Breskin Zalben, Jacqueline Ju

The Mitzvah of Voting, Part 2

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LISTEN TO THE PODCAST   |  READ THE TRANSCRIPT       🕮    Welcome to Part 2 of our 3 part series, The Mitzvah of Voting. It's October 2020 your favorite Jewish kidlit authors want all eligible US citizens to vote in the upcoming Presidential election, and listeners around the world to vote in their own local elections! My author guests will be sharing why they vote and they'll give you some recommendations for ways to keep democracy healthy. Listen to PART 1 | PART 3 Guest authors include: Elissa Brent Weissman , author of The Length of a String Lee Wind , author of Queer as a $5 Bill and No Way, They Were Gay? Barbara Bietz , author of Sweet Tamales for Purim Jane Breskin Zalben , author of A Moon for Moe and Mo Jacqueline Jules , author of The Generous Fish , Never Say a Mean Word Again , The Hardest Word Anne-Marie Asner , author of the Matzah Ball Books series  Suggestions from guests in this episode: Become a poll worker Add your Representative and Senators to your

The Mitzvah of Voting, Part 3

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LISTEN TO THE PODCAST   |  READ THE TRANSCRIPT     🕮    Welcome to the third and final entry in our series, The Mitzvah of Voting. It's October 2020 your favorite Jewish kidlit authors want all eligible US citizens to vote in the upcoming Presidential election, and listeners around the world to vote in their own local elections. My author guests will be sharing why they vote and they'll give you some recommendations for ways to keep democracy healthy. This time, we will leave you with some musical inspiration to carry you through Election Day. Listen to PART 1 | PART 2 One of today's guests, Sarah Aroeste, is not only an author, she's also a singer songwriter who performs in Ladino, the Judeo-Spanish dialect that became the tongue of Spanish Jews after their expulsion from Spain in 1492. We'll hear Gracia , a tribute to the medieval Sephardic heroine, Doña Gracia Nasi who lived in the 1500s and saved hundreds of Jews from the Inquisition. The main idea of the song