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Here are my favorite picture books of the year.


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But if you wanna pick up Happy Hanukkah, Corduroy , knock yourself out. This is my pick for the best Jewish picture book of the year.

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Best of all, it shows how hard apologizing can be, and how cathartic. And I like that Cantor Livia and her guitar-playing accompanist, with their flowy Berkeley-vibed clothing, look like a specific and familiar breed of middle-aged bobo Jewess. This book is superb. Grades K Mirik Snir should be shepping serious nachas from her artist daughter. Brightly colored, curvy images of lots of animal parents and babies cuddling make a soothing yet unboring blessedly pastel-free read for little ones. Infant to Grade 1.

The book is illustrated with luscious, dark-toned oil paintings. Grades This is another book that sounds like a noble, virtuous, narcolepsy-inducing history lesson—the spinach of Jewish juvenilia. Josie loved that last part. The book is beautifully illustrated, with acrylic paintings that have a slightly skewed, just-barely-cartoonish perspective. Some paintings stand alone while others are tiny spot illustrations integrated into the text. Grades , and for adults, too. This photography book illustrates how different cultures around the world pray, read sacred books, eat, visit holy places, celebrate festivals, and mark lifecycle events.

Some kids love to look at photos of other kids, and this book will hypnotize them. The images celebrate diversity without bludgeoning anyone over the head with it. We see a Jewish girl making challah with her zayde, a young Buddhist novice meditating, Nigerian children praying together, a bar-mitzvah boy chanting the Torah, a Muslim family breaking the daily fast during Ramadan, a Guatemalan kid with missing front teeth grinning broadly in an Easter mask.

Pre-K to Grade 4. You Never Heard of Sandy Koufax?! To which we tiny Jews said in our tiny heads : big whoop. Not if this book can help it. Koufax is all arcing-curving-curve-ball-throwing giant arms, plus a set of bushy eyebrows. But the fact that the main character feels elusive is OK. We respect his hard work, the way he faces anti-Semitism, the way no one can figure out what motivates him when he suddenly quits baseball at his peak.

Sometimes questions are richer than answers. Both books are about the power of storytelling and imagination. And the story deals with addressing fear in an authentic, manageable way. Maxine, age five, adores it. Pre-K to Grade 2. Click here for access to comments. Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge.

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We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support. I have to disagree with you about the book Faith.

I recently looked through this book at a conference and at first I was very excited about getting it for the Jewish preschool at which I work. All of the Jews depicted are men, with the exception of the little girl making challah. There are 8 pictures of Jews in the book, and only 2 depict girls. In addition to the girl making challah, there is girl shaking a lulav. Simple, cute illos, very competently done.

We do pay attention to gender representation. We did not commission photos, however, for budget reasons. We hope communities would make available more images of egalitarian participation in the future. Regarding the challah-making image, we selected the one of the grandfather passing down the tradition to the granddaughter over many similar images showing a girl learning from her grandmother or mother. We try to convey that traditions are not bound by gender. One other note: while a number of images in the book show girls praying, we do not wish to suggest that only girls pray, or that girls only pray.

We want to show girls laughing, celebrating friendship with, and helping those in need, including people of other faiths. We agree that women and girls by participating in all aspects of life, enrich, indeed, give vital expressions of faith. I think it is one of my favorite books because of the message of forgiveness and moving on to be better and feel better in a new year. I featured this book during Rosh Hashana on illuminara when it first came out.

Thanks for guiding us to the other books as well! Fantastic and fascinating list. Love your picks Marjorie and thus passing on to Bubbie and Zayde. They kvell for such info. Happy Hanukkah. Looking forward to the chapter book list! It was a big hit at the little independent bookshop where I work in Melbourne. Gave it to my two-year-old cousin, who loved the pictures, though the narrative was a bit too complex for someone not yet kindergarten-aged! I also really dug the not-too-preachy, pan-denominational vibe.


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Good for children from families of all sorts of levels of religious observance and affiliation. It was published quite recently by Kar-Ben and is a really gorgeous, non-fiction picture book for older primary-school aged children grade 4 and up. I never thought I would find a book on ornithology so interesting. Older kids and adults love it. The Yankee at the Seder is such a beautiful story.

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I read it at shul last Pesach and had to choke out the end of it because we were all teary. Thanks for this list. Several new ones for me. But I was able to find it in time for Hanukah — it is a beautiful book and I thank you for making me aware of it. I bought 3 — one for each family with grandchildren. Zelda Katz. Thanks so much for giving everyone remarkably memorable possiblity to read in detail from here.

It is often so great and also full of amusement for me and my office peers to visit your site more than three times weekly to read the newest things you will have. I wanted to post a simple message so as to appreciate you for those superb ideas you are posting here. My incredibly long internet lookup has finally been recognized with beneficial know-how to exchange with my partners. I would express that we readers are really endowed to exist in a superb community with so many awesome people with insightful concepts. I feel really lucky to have come across your website and look forward to so many more awesome minutes reading here.

Thank you once more for everything. Get me so high on learning that I remember the time when books were the best and only thing in the world, and we would sit up in bed sucking on caramels so our hands would be free to turn the pages.

The Sounds of My Jewish Year

These are the appointed weeks, the turning of the year; this is the season of Shavuot. A Penthouse Pentecost, an ingathering. Bring the loaves of bread, bring the books, bring the understanding that our female ancestors were sex workers, and that the people who eat from the corners of our field may be forbearers of kings.

You can reach her at Singer forward. Home Give Share Search Subscribe. Email Facebook Twitter. Give Advertise Subscribe. June 3, By Jenny Singer.

The Sounds of My Jewish Year (Very First Board Books)

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