A Podcast About Jewish Kidlit (Mostly)

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Monday, December 30, 2019

Thank the Helpers

Shamash Night is the brainchild of author Erica Perl, whose book The Ninth Night of Hanukkah will be published in 2020. Her synagogue, Temple Micah in Washington DC, is holding the first ever Shamash Night celebration, and they explain it this way: "It is a community celebration of helpers and helping. It takes place on the “ninth night” of Hanukkah because the shamash candle spends the entire holiday helping its neighbors in the menorah. We’ll gather to give thanks to the shamash candle, and to all the helpers in our lives."

What a beautiful idea this is! Personally, it's exactly what I needed to hear as we come to the close of the most violent Hanukkah of my lifetime, after multiple attacks on Jews in the New York and New Jersey area, and after a friend emailed me this morning with a photo of her children's elementary school outside Chicago with a swastika freshly spray painted on its bricks.

Hanukkah commemorates the Rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem after it was reclaimed from the forces of King Antiochus in the 2nd century BCE. Let's rededicate ourselves to speaking out against anti-Semitism and racism in all its forms. And let's take the opportunity in this first Shamash Night to thank those who are in the fight with us.

I'd like to thank the Association of Jewish Libraries for its leadership in the field of Jewish libraries. I'd like to thank the American Library Association for adding the Sydney Taylor Book Awards to their prestigious Youth Media Awards event. I'd like to thank the Missing Voice Picture Book Discussion Group on Facebook and the Kidlit These Days podcast for including Jewish representation in their diversity discussions. I'd like to thank the Highlights Foundation for including Jewish writing workshops in their lineup. I'd like to thank We Need Diverse Books for starting to include Jewish representation in their diversity efforts and I invite them to step up these efforts. I hope that soon I will have a much longer thank you list. If you can think of others who need thanking, please let me know in the comments.

And thank every one of you, for being a Book of Life listener! Happy Rededication.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

World Premiere: Hanukkah with Noshy Boy & Friends

ANNOUNCING: The World Premiere of the audiobook version of Hanukkah with Noshy Boy & Friends by Anne-Marie Asner, voiced by Anne-Marie Asner and Ed Asner (yes, that Ed Asner!), on The Book of Life Podcast! Plus, we've got an interview with Anne-Marie about the story's creation!

Noshy Boy, Schmutzy Girl, Kvetchy Boy, and their other friends are characters in a series from Matzah Ball Books, which shares Yiddish vocabulary and culture with young children through humor.

For all you Yiddish-lovers out there, this is just the beginning of a mechaye for you: in January we will have an episode called A Bisl Yiddish, in which we'll hear from authors Sue Macy (The Book Rescuer), Debbie Levy (Yiddish Saves the Day ) and Valerie Estelle Frankel (Chelm for the Holidays) about their Yiddish-related stories. Watch this space!




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

Monday, December 02, 2019

A Field Guide to Jewish Kidlit

On The Book of Life, we talk a lot about Jewish kidlit. But where do you go to find Jewish children's books? In this episode, Marjorie Ingall joins me to talk about how to discover and how to access the best Jewish kidlit. Marjorie is a columnist at Tablet Magazine and is well-known for her year-end "best of Jewish kidlit" lists, and she's the author of Mamaleh Knows Best: What Jewish Mothers Do to Raise Successful, Creative, Empathetic, Independent Children, which was featured on The Book of Life in April 2017.
Marjorie Ingall
Among other things, Marjorie and I discussed our favorite Hanukkah books, and I am pleased to announce that The Book of Life is co-sponsoring the 2019 #Readukkah Jewish Reading Challenge!

The Association of Jewish Libraries & The Book of Life / Jewish Kidlit Mavens & the Jewish Book Council present the fourth annual reading challenge for readers of all ages, #Readukkah! To participate, just post about any book of Jewish interest on the Facebook event discussion board between December 15-22, 2019—or share a link to your review anywhere online—and use the hashtag #Readukkah to connect with other readers! By sharing your #Readukkah posts, your participation in this reading challenge helps spread the word about worthwhile titles, bringing them to the attention of more readers and supporting the publication of Jewish books!



Resources mentioned in this episode, in order of appearance: 

Podcast: Kidlit These Days, Diversity-Focused Publishing episode
Blog: Jewish Books for Children (Barbara Bietz)
Blog: The Whole Megillah (Barbara Krasner)
Podcast: The Kiddush Book Club
Website: Kveller
Award: Sydney Taylor Book Award (Association of Jewish Libraries)
Award: The National Jewish Book Awards, children's book category (Jewish Book Council)
Award: Canadian Jewish Literary Awards, children's book category
Best Of Lists: Marjorie Ingall's Best Jewish Children's Books of the Year at Tablet Magazine
Reviews: Association of Jewish Libraries newsletter archive
Organization: Association of Jewish Libraries membership (get current newsletters)
Reviews: Tablet Magazine
Reviews: Jewish Book Council
Free book programs: PJ Library and PJ Our Way
Jewish publisher: Kar-Ben Publishing
Jewish publisher: Apples & Honey Press
Jewish publisher: Green Bean Books
Jewish publisher: Kalaniot Books
Other Jewish publishers not mentioned in the podcast, just FYI: Hachai Publishing, Menucha Publishers, Jewish Lights, Feldheim, Judaica Press, Yotzeret Publishing
Online bookseller: IndieBound
Online bookseller: "The True Cost of Amazon Revealed"
Tikkun Olam: Give blood
Non-Jewish publishers who habitually publish Jewish books: Orca, Albert Whitman, Scholastic, Holiday House, Second Story Press, Abrams, Eerdmans

Books mentioned in this episode, in order of appearance: 

It's a Whole Spiel: Love, Latkes, and Other Jewish Stories edited by Katherine Locke
All Three Stooges by Erica Perl
Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster by Jonathan Auxier
All-of-a-Kind Family Hanukkah by Emily Jenkins
Regina Persisted: An Untold Story by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso
Feivel's Flying Horses by Heidi Smith Hyde
Rifka Takes a Bow by Betty Rosenberg Perlov
A Concert in the Sand by Tami Shem-Tov & Rachella Sandbank
Nana in the City by Lauren Castillo
Signs in the Well by Shoham Smith
The Berlin Boxing Club by Robert Sharenow
Zishe the Strong Man by Robert Rubinstein
Fierce: How Competing for Myself Changed Everything by Aly Raisman
Bobbie Rosenfeld: The Olympian Who Could Do Everything by Anne Dublin
Lipman Pike: America's First Home Run King by Richard Michelson
Flying High by Julian Edelman
The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming: A Christmas Story by Lemony Snicket
Oskar and the Eight Blessings by Richard and Tanya Simon
Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins by Eric Kimmel


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

Hanukkah for Kids | Multicultural Kid Blogs 

Welcome to our fifth annual Hanukkah for Kids blog hop! Be sure to visit all the participating blogs for create ways to share this special time of year with kids. Plus you can find all these and more on our Hanukkah Pinterest board! (And don't miss last year’s blog hop, 2017, 2016, and 2015!)

Participating Blogs