Posts

Ezra's Big Shabbat Question

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LISTEN TO THE PODCAST    |    READ THE TRANSCRIPT    |    BUY BOOKS     ๐Ÿ•ฎ    Aviva Brown is the author of Ezra's BIG Shabbat Question and Not Now, Mara! These picture books portray Jewish children of color without making a big deal about it, something we don't see often enough in kidlit. Listen to Aviva as she talks about her inspiration, about self publishing, and about winning Mother of the Year Award for the state of North Carolina. LEARN MORE: Aviva Brown's website Mother of the Year Award 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 561-206-2473.

Jewish Book Carnival: February 2021

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The Jewish Book Carnival is a monthly roundup of Jewish literary links from across the blogosphere. Sponsored by the Association of Jewish Libraries, it is hosted by a different blog each month and shares book reviews, author interviews, essays, and other blog posts about Jewish books. Visit the Jewish Book Carnival HQ for the upcoming schedule, past Carnivals, and to learn how to participate!    Here on The Book of Life , I am pleased to share my interview with Rebecca Levitan, chair of the Sydney Taylor Book Award committee, about the 2021 award winning titles! The Association of Jewish Libraries organized a Blog Tour for the winners of the 2021 Sydney Taylor Book Award! See the schedule and follow the links to the various interviews. You can also read about the AJL Fiction Award winners for adult literature. On The Sydney Taylor Shmooze , the mock award blog for the Sydney Taylor Book Award, we've got a review of Esther Didn't Dream of Being Queen by Allison Ofanansky

The 2021 Sydney Taylor Book Award Blog Tour

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    The Sydney Taylor Book Award will be showcasing its 2021 gold and silver medalists with a Blog Tour, February 8-12, 2021! Interviews with winning authors and illustrators will appear on a variety of Jewish and kidlit blogs. Interviews will appear on the dates below, and will remain available to read at your own convenience. Below is the schedule for the 2021 Sydney Taylor Book Award Blog Tour. Please follow the links to visit the hosting blogs on or after their tour dates, and be sure to leave them plenty of comments! MONDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2021  Leslรฉa Newman and Susan Gal , author and illustrator of Welcoming Elijah Sydney Taylor Book Award in the Picture Book Category at A Fuse #8 Production at School Library Journal Sofiya Pasternack , author of Anya and the Nightingale Sydney Taylor Honor Book in the Middle Grade Category at 100 Scope Notes at School Library Journal   TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2021 M. Evan Wolkenstein , author of Turtle Boy Sydney Taylor Book Award in the Mi

The 2021 Sydney Taylor Book Awards, Revealed

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LISTEN TO THE PODCAST     |    READ THE TRANSCRIPT       ๐Ÿ•ฎ    Rebecca Levitan is the chair of the Sydney Taylor Book Award committee of the Association of Jewish Libraries. She joined us to discuss the 2021 winners of the award, which annually recognizes the best Jewish literature for children and teens.  AJL is an affiliate of the American Library Association, so the Sydney Taylor Book Awards are announced at ALA's Youth Media Awards press conference, being held virtually this year on January 25, 2021. You can watch a recording of the announcement on ALA's YouTube channel . Here's the official 2021 Sydney Taylor Book Award press release and the printable list of winners, honors, and notable books . The Sydney Taylor Book Award Blog Tour will take place February 8-12, 2021. Details will appear soon at JewishLibraries.org . We also spoke about AJL's Sydney Taylor Manuscript Award . The 2021 winner is Cats and Honey Cake by Sonja Spear. We mentioned AJL

The Sydney Taylor Shmooze

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LISTEN TO THE PODCAST    |    READ THE TRANSCRIPT    |    VOTE FOR MOCK AWARDS (goes live 1/4/21)     ๐Ÿ•ฎ    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     ๐Ÿ•ฎ    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     ๐Ÿ•ฎ    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&