Showing posts from December, 2020

The Puppy Test

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

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&