WELCOME TO THE BOOK OF LIFE:
A Podcast About Jewish Kidlit (Mostly)

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Sunday, September 06, 2020

A Place at the Table


Muslim author Saadia Faruqui and Jewish author Laura Shovan joined me to talk about their jointly written middle grade contemporary novel, A Place at the Table. This is a book about immigration, about friendship, and it will make you hungry. From the official description:
A timely, accessible, and beautifully written story exploring themes of food, friendship, family and what it means to belong, featuring sixth graders Sara, a Pakistani American, and Elizabeth, a white, Jewish girl taking a South Asian cooking class taught by Sara's mom.
Learn More
Guest Recommendations: Boosting Black Voices

CLICK HERE TO BUY THE BOOK (Affiliate link, support the podcast and independent booksellers) 

CLICK HERE TO READ THE TRANSCRIPT

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE PODCAST



CREDITS:

Your feedback is appreciated! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or call our voicemail number at 561-206-2473. 




Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Video Episode: Artist Patricia Portillo




Back in August 2006, author/illustrator Simms Taback was a guest on The Book of Life. He spoke about his classic picture book Joseph Had a Little Overcoat and his newer picture book Kibitzers and Fools. After the interview, he painted me the picture you see above of a dancing man with an iPod.

In 2020, the dancing man returned to me in a new form as a crocheted doll! I was so impressed that I invited Patti, the artist, to be a guest on the podcast.

Multi-talented mensch Patricia Portillo is an artist who works with fiber, clay, and other materials. She is also a voice artist and professional opera singer, and she dabbles in the culinary arts. Listen to the audio or watch the video below to learn more about her work and how you can commission her to make something for you too!

Learn more:
Patricia's Recommendation for Boosting Black Voices

CLICK HERE TO READ THE TRANSCRIPT

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE PODCAST


 

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO



CREDITS:
Your feedback is appreciated! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or call our voicemail number at 561-206-2473. 



Sunday, August 09, 2020

No Vacancy


No Vacancy is Tziporah Cohen's debut middle grade novel. It's a story of friendship across boundaries, the importance of community as a bulwark against prejudice... and a Virgin Mary sighting.

[Description from Groundwood Books:] Buying and moving into the run-down Jewel Motor Inn in upstate New York wasn’t eleven-year-old Miriam Brockman’s dream, but at least it’s an adventure. Miriam befriends Kate, whose grandmother owns the diner next door, and finds comfort in the company of Maria, the motel’s housekeeper, and her Uncle Mordy, who comes to help out for the summer. She spends her free time helping Kate’s grandmother make her famous grape pies and begins to face her fears by taking swimming lessons in the motel’s pool.

But when it becomes clear that only a miracle is going to save the Jewel from bankruptcy, Jewish Miriam and Catholic Kate decide to create their own. Otherwise, the No Vacancy sign will come down for good, and Miriam will lose the life she’s worked so hard to build.
Tziporah's Tikkun Olam suggestion:
Tziporah's Recommendations for Boosting Black Voices

CLICK HERE TO BUY THE BOOK (Affiliate link, support the podcast and independent booksellers)

CLICK HERE TO READ THE TRANSCRIPT

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE PODCAST



CREDITS:

Your feedback is appreciated! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or call our voicemail number at 561-206-2473. 




Wednesday, July 22, 2020

"Finally, Jewish kids' books are starting to reflect the diversity of Judaism"


I am pleased to announce that I have written an article for The Forward, the famous Jewish newspaper founded in 1897 and originally published in Yiddish. It is entitled "Finally, Jewish kids' books are starting to reflect the diversity of Judaism." I referenced Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop's well-known metaphor about "mirrors, windows, and sliding glass doors" to explain that all children need to read Jewish books that reflect the diversity of the Jewish community, and I shared a few personal favorite titles.


For those of you who would like to learn about additional titles, please take a look at my growing Diverse Jewish Kidlit bibliography.




Sunday, July 19, 2020

The Bubbes and the Zaides



This episode is all about grandparents. We hear from David Raphael, co-founder of the Jewish Grandparents Network, and we enjoy the audiobook Bubbe & Zaide, written and voiced by Anne-Marie Asner along with the famous actor Ed Asner as Zaide. You may remember Anne-Marie from our December 2019 episode, when she told us about her Yiddish-inspired picture book series, Matzah Ball Books.

Learn more:

Guest recommendations: Boosting Black Voices


CLICK HERE TO READ THE TRANSCRIPT

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE PODCAST




CREDITS:

Your feedback is appreciated! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or call our voicemail number at 561-206-2473. 



Sunday, June 28, 2020

Through the Window: Lee Wind


In celebration of Pride Month and as part of the Through the Window diversity exchange, our guest today is Lee Wind, author of Queer as a Five-Dollar Bill. Lee blogs at I'm Here, I'm Queer, What the Hell Do I Read? He is also the official blogger for SCBWI. We opened the window wide to interview each other about Jewish kidlit and LGBTQIA2+ kidlit.

Through the Window is a diversity exchange created by the Association of Jewish Libraries to fight antisemitism and other forms of bias through education and allyship. Jewish organizations swap content with other marginalized communities to give both groups a look through the window at our common humanity.

Another Through the Window partnership recently celebrated Pride Month with posts swapped by the Jewish Women's Archive and Yali Books: A Window to South Asia. See their posts here:
In this episode, we introduce a new podcast feature, Boosting Black Voices. I've already got interviews recorded for months to come, and most of my guests are white. I'll be asking those guests to add their suggestions for black-authored works, so that we can use our privilege constructively to boost black voices. Here are today's suggestions.
OTHER LINKS
CLICK HERE TO READ THE TRANSCRIPT | PART ONE | PART TWO

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE PODCAST



CREDITS:
Your feedback is appreciated! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or call our voicemail number at 561-206-2473.

Note: Links to titles on Bookshop.org benefit The Book of Life Podcast and independent booksellers.