THE BOOK OF LIFE - Where to Find Jewish Kidlit
4:32AM Nov 28, 2019
COLD OPEN: Ask librarians -- librarians are our best resources in life -- if they've heard of cool Jewish books that you should read!
I can't believe I didn't think of that!
You know why? Because you're, you're too close. You're inside and I'm an outsider. So I am aware all the time of the awesomeness that is librarians.
Well, thank you for bringing that up. Yes, absolutely. Everybody should ask their local librarian for suggestions.
MUSIC, INTRO: This is The Book of Life. I'm Heidi Rabinowitz. On this podcast we talk a lot about Jewish kids. But where do you go to find the best Jewish children's books? On today's show, I talk with my friend Marjorie Ingall 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 highly anticipated Best Of The Year lists of Jewish children's books. She's also 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. Today's conversation covers a lot of ground, so please be sure to check the show notes for links to the books and organizations we talked about at BookofLifepodcast.com. Among other things, Marjorie and I discussed our favorite Hanukkah books, and I want you to know that The Book of Life is co-sponsoring the 2019 #Readukkah Jewish reading challenge. I'll talk about that more later in the show. For now, here's Marjorie.
So Marjorie Ingall, welcome to The Book of Life.
Thanks for having me, Heidi.
I'm so happy to have an excuse to chat with you because it's always fun.
And we're here today to talk about where to find Jewish children's books.
I was listening to the podcast Kidlit These Days, and the hosts Matthew Winner and Karina Yan Glaser did an episode about Diversity Focused Publishing, where they helped listeners learn about where they could find diverse books. So that inspired me to expand on that idea for Jewish books specifically, and that's why I've invited you here today, Marjorie...
... [laughing] to help me talk about where our listeners can find Jewish books.
I want to talk about where to find recommendations for the best books and then also where to find the books themselves. So you and I are in the book recommending business. If you're listening to this podcast, you know that The Book of Life is here to help you learn more about Jewish kidlit. And Marjorie, let's find out about what you do at Tablet Magazine to help readers find books.
Okay, well I am a general interest person but my own personal superduper interest is children's books. I write about Jewish children's books for Tablet as often as I can get away with. So I write during the year, but one thing that is very important for me is to do a year end roundup of the best books of that year for all ages. I also review children's books for the New York Times, not all Jewish, but they know that I'm very interested in Jewish ones. One of my books called Mamaleh Knows Best was a parent's pick for PJ Library, which is another resource for Jewish children's literature that we'll talk about later.
Okay, let's talk about other people's projects to recommend Jewish kidlit. Do you have any blogs or resources that are out there that you would like to recommend?
I am a fan of Barbara Bietz's blog, which is called, what...?
Jewish Books for Children, a very basic name.
Yes, she is a very sweet human being who I was very happy to meet for the first time probably about a year ago. And I think the sweetness comes through her blog. And I think that that makes somebody very pleasant to read.
I agree both that this is a good blog to know and that Barbara is super sweet. Both of those things are quite true. Hi, Barbara!
So there's another Barbara, who has a blog that I know we wanted to talk about. It's all Barbaras all the time. There's a blog by Barbara Krasner, called The Whole Megillah.
Which is aimed kind of more at people who write Jewish children's books, but it includes interviews, as does Barbara Bietz's, it;'s also an interview blog. So both Barbaras do interviews on their blogs. And The Whole Megillah is also a good source because she interviews authors and publishers, and I think agents and she also sometimes does reviews just have her own opinions on these books. So those are both good blogs to know about. And I'm not aware of any other podcast, that specifically focuses on Jewish children's books but there's a podcast called The Kiddush Book Club Podcast, kiddush as in drinking wine, not as in for children, and I just discovered it, it's pretty new. And it's not strictly Jewish, but the hosts are Jewish and they do talk about Jewish issues quite a lot. And they've been reviewing and interviewing authors from the new anthology called It's a Whole Spiel which is a collection of short stories for YA, as we say in the business, meaning books for teenagers, for young adults. So that's something to keep an eye on as well.
You know, it occurred to me that the Jewish parenting website Kveller also has a podcast called Call Your Mother that I have not listened to, to be perfectly candid, but I wonder if they've ever talked about children's books, but hey, Kveller people, if you want to have me on, I'm happy to do that.
There you go. Yeah, good idea. And I like the title. I will check out that podcast. So these are sort of reviews done out of love. Maybe we can talk a little bit about official sources of reviews.
The place that I would start, and the single best resource for people who want to get sort of an overview of Jewish children's literature in a given year, is the Sydney Taylor Awards, which is awards given out by the Association of Jewish libraries for the best Jewish children's books in categories of picture books, middle grade, and young adult for you know, what they consider the best of the year. And in my role as sort of a person who does not have to be super serious and really likes to just be a goofball a lot of the time, I have criticized the Sydney Taylor Awards for choosing books that I thought were too virtuous, too good for you, too spinachy, too Holocausty, and in spite of that, they asked me if I would be willing to serve on the jury, which is extremely kind. So I'm doing that this year. And I realized what an incredibly challenging task they have and what a great job they do, because I can just pick and choose at Tablet what I want to read, and they read everything. So what I would do is I would look at the awards every year, and I would pay attention to the notable books as well as the books that win, because, you know, it's going to be a matter of taste. And they are serious about the literary value of something in a way that I'm not always and sometimes I'm recommending books that you give for gifts, so I may recommend more trashy books that are fun. So I think actually, if you were to look at my year end list and their year end list, you'd have a really good summary of what's going on in the Jewish book world at any given time.
That's such an interesting way to think of it. I'm hearing you say "they" even though you are part of the Sydney Taylor Book Award...
Yeah, they are me!
Right. And and it's funny because you know, I was on the Sydney Taylor Book Award committee years ago and I even chaired the Sydney Taylor Book Award committee. So I think of it as "we."
You'll have to get back to me, you know, right now we're still in our frantic frantic reading period that I'm sure you remember well.
So maybe after we hash everything out, I'll feel more like it's a "we." You know, it's funny because I was once a judge for the New York Times best illustrated children's books, which you get to do only once so I'll never do that again, which is sad because it was super fun. But now I totally feel proprietary and "we" about that. So I bet I will feel the same thing about Sydney Taylor.
Well, I hope so because it's a wonderful club to be a member of.
Yes. And they're awesome people on the committee, who I've been delighted to meet this year. So that's always nice to get to make new friends at you know, my advanced age.
So I'm glad that you brought up the Sydney Taylor Book Award. It's definitely a great way to find out about high quality Jewish kids books, from the gold to the silver to the notables. And there's a huge backlog of titles as well, because this has been going on since 1968.
Now, it's interesting that you were mentioning that there's not an objective way to necessarily say one book is better than the other. It is somewhat a matter of taste. The Jewish Book Council also gives out book awards, and they come at it more from like a book club point of view, rather than a librarian point of view. So it's interesting because sometimes we agree with them, and sometimes we do not. And their winners and Sydney Taylor winners in this year for the 2019 winners were very similar. So for instance, they picked All Three Stooges by Erica Perl as their top winner...
Which is a maze balls! That was three words. I love that book.
Yes. Then their runners up were Sweep and All-of-a-Kind Family Hanukkah, and Regina Persisted. And that was for the Jewish Book Council's National Jewish Book Awards. But for Sydney Taylor Book Awards, Sweep won in the middle grade category, All-of-a-Kind Family Hanukkah won in the picture book category, so we agreed on those, and then All Three Stooges got, I think, a silver medal. And then Regina Persisted was not even recognized. So there's some overlap.
Regina Persisted was on my list for the best books of the year.
Right. So it's all a big Venn diagram.
Exactly. So if you really put together those chunks of Venn-ness, there's going to be something you like.
So between all of that, great recommendations. And then I'd also want to mention that there is a Canadian Jewish Book Award. That's another good source of Jewish kidlit and yes, for the Canadian Award and the Jewish Book Council award, those are not strictly children's books. They have children's book categories among other categories, whereas the Sydney Taylor Book Award is specifically for children's books.
Let's talk a little bit about review journals. So the Association of Jewish Libraries is the administrating body of the Sydney Taylor Book Award, and another thing that the Association of Jewish Libraries does is book reviews for their newsletter, which is a member newsletter. However, if you don't mind reading about older titles, you can access those reviews for like a year ago, but the most recent issues of the newsletter are members-only. It is a benefit of membership and being a member of AJL a terrific thing if you have a strong interest in this topic. So I would encourage anybody who might be interested to go to Jewishlibraries.org and click on Join and see the member benefits, one of which is early access to these book reviews.
And how do people access the book reviews that are older?
The book reviews that are older are not restricted. So if you go to the Publications section at Jewishlibraries.org, you can find the links to those older issues of the reviews journal.
Gotcha. And they're searchable?
Well, they're PDFs.
So it's a, it's a reading experience.
Yeah, I mean, it's a, it's a newsletter. So you could search a PDF, if there was a particular title you were looking for, a particular topic, a keyword, you can search a PDF,
Right. Or you could just sort of skim looking for what might catch your eye...
Right. And they have adult reviews and children's reviews.
And then of course Tablet has reviews as we were discussing, and the Jewish Book Council has a good website full of reviews for adults and for children. They're publishing reviews, not just in a quarterly newsletter like AJL does, but all the time.
Let's talk about a way to actually obtain books. One way you can get free Jewish children's books is to sign up for PJ Library or PJ Our Way,
Which is so huge. It's still surprising to me that not enough people know about this. It's a system modeled on Dolly Parton's Imagination Library. It's a free distribution of books for kids. And all you have to do is go to their website and sign up. If you have a kid or a grandkid from zero to eight, they will send you a selection of Jewish ... or there are also some not specifically Jewish, but tied to Jewish ethics. And they'll send you a little information about what Jewish value they think this particular title is tied to. You can't choose what they send you, but who doesn't like getting free books in the mail? It's very exciting.
Right. Well, let me just add a little bit of detail to what you said. So PJ Library, as you said, is for up to eight years old, mostly picture books every now and then a chapter book. And it's tailored to the age of the child who's receiving the books. And as you mentioned, once in a while they send a secular book that has some kind of Jewish values tie-in, but for the most part, they send books that are specifically Jewish. And all of the books come with a reading guide that sort of draws out the values that are prominent in that story. Sometimes there's like a craft or some discussion questions. There's, there's expansion upon the story, it's built in when you receive the book.
Now PJ Our Way is a related but separate program that is for ages eight to twelve, where the kids do actually get to pick from among four choices each month. And so those are aimed at middle grade readers. PJ Our Way also has an online component where the kids participate in doing some book reviewing and making little videos and sort of creating an online community or around their love of reading. So that's fun too.
And they also have articles for parents and grandparents and friends to support their reading with kids. You know, ways to use titles almost as bibliotherapy, books surrounding specific topics, they actually have published a couple of really sweet sort of suggestions about how to talk about anti-Semitism, how to talk about when something bad happens in the news. It's a really great resource all around.
I'd also point out that their website is a good source just to find out titles of Jewish books. So if...
...even if you don't have a child in your household who is going to receive the books, if you just want to know about Jewish books, well, here's a whole big list of them. So you can look on their websites just to see what titles they're using.
Let's talk about publishers that we can turn to for reliable Jewish kidlit. Now I know there are a few publishers that we were thinking we wanted to highlight.
I will start with Kar-Ben, which is probably the biggest of the Jewish publishers. Would you say that's true?
I think so.
For focusing on children's books, yes.
Yes. And I want to point out the ones you mentioned are all great, but those are all historical. They also are very good about publishing contemporary depictions of families and a lot of diversity. They consciously try to depict not only white Ashkenazi families, but people of color who are Jewish, and Sephardim, and they try to really show the span.
For pictures, picture books. They do some some middle grade but it's mostly picture books. I feel like they are coming from the very responsible place. They are very careful about the Holocaust books they publish. You and I have bewailed, bemoaned some of the age appropriateness and also just lousy quality of a lot of Holocaust books that are out there. I think it's fair to say that Kar-Ben, I don't think has published a bad Holocaust book, in part because they publish very few. But they really are seeking to show the span of the Jewish experience in a way that I think is really nice. So my favorite Kar-Ben titles, there was one about a carousel horse carver in Coney Island, who was thinking about all of his family members back in the old country as he cared each horse, hoping to make enough money to bring them over. And it turns out that there actually is this long history of Jewish carousel carvers who were Torah ark carvers in the old country. And I was fascinated by that and I learned about that from the back matter. And my kid loved the book. There's also one about a little girl growing up backstage in the Yiddish theater. And there are plenty of holiday books, lots and lots of holiday books. But I'm so grateful for books that aren't holiday books, because they just feel like something fresh and new to me. There was one of the creation of the Tel Aviv Symphony, just interesting, oddball. You know, I like the quirk.
Yes. I've also seen kids in wheelchairs in their books. Oh, one thing that I've actually had a conversation with Joni, the publisher, a thing that I have complained about is the portrayals of bubbes, in a lot of Jewish children's books that they look decrepit. But like think about, you know, your children's grandparents are lively and youthful and vigorous. So I feel like Kar-Ben has done a really good job at showing some vigorous, active, you know, not just sitting and rocking, knitting and making soup grandmas with white hair, but contemporary, lively grandparents, like the ones who may indeed be reading these books to their grandchildren.
That's a really good point and a wonderful new trend because absolutely, there's definitely been a ...would you call it sort of a delay, like the grandparents have not caught up with reality? And not just Jewish kids' books, not just the bubbes, but all the grandparents and all the picture books.
There's a non Jewish contemporary children's book that I love, it's called Nana in the City. I love that it flips all of these cliches on their heads because it's a sort of scared suburban kid coming in to visit their hipster grandma in a big city. And the grandma encouraging the kid to be brave as they explore the city. Yeah, I love this trend of showing grandparents who are, you know, fully engaged in the world.
Excellent. I wanted to also mention that Kar-Ben started in 1974 as a small, independent publisher, Judye Groner and Madeline Wikler were the co-founders of it. And they actually won the Sydney Taylor Body of Work Award when they retired and at that time, Kar-Ben became an imprint of Lerner Publishing Group. And so now Joni Sussman, who you mentioned, Joni Sussman is the publisher at Kar-Ben and she was on The Book of Life, she's been on the Book of Life many times, most recently, in the September 2019 episode, from the Live Show that we recorded at the Association of Jewish Libraries conference.
Yeah. So I wanted to talk about Apples and Honey, which is a much newer publisher established in 2015. And they're an imprint of Behrman House and Behrman House is a publisher of Jewish books but also like educational material. Behrman House has been around since 1921. So for a long, long time, but Apples and Honey is a much newer segment of what they do. And I actually interviewed Vicki Weber of Apples and Honey in the August 2017 episode of The Book of Life so you can hear more about Behrman House from her. But I think that they have also been doing a very good job of creating fun, well illustrated, well edited, well put together Jewish children's books. I don't think there's any one publisher that focuses on Jewish middle grade the way we're seeing with picture books, though. So that's an unfilled niche now that I think about it.
You know, that's also a good reason to pay attention to Sydney Taylor and me because we're always looking for those books from mainstream publishers.
Yes. Did you want to talk about Green Bean Books?
Why don't you do Green Bean? They're another new one.
Yeah, I think they were established this year maybe?
Yeah, I think so too.
Yeah. So 2019 and they are based in England. And they translate books into English. So far I think mostly they have translated Israeli books, but I think that they are planning to do some books from other languages. So that's an interesting angle. And they were actually on Barbara Bietz's blog. Actually, I think the book she most recently reviewed, Signs in the Well by Shoham Smith, it was the one she posted on October 20, 2019, Signs in the Well. It's a book about Rabbi Akiva. And that was translated from Hebrew.
And that one's got some interesting sophisticated looking, sort of scratchy art that I found very intriguing. You know, I like when we can get away from sort of the bubble headed, round, super cartoony thing, which sometimes looks a little cheesy and disposable to me. And when illustrators and publishers are doing some things, you know, sort of ambitious and different, I always want to cheer that.
Okay, cool. And then there's one more publisher, I wanted to mention that I can't really evaluate because they're so new that they haven't put out any books yet. But it's just something to keep an eye on. It's called Kalaniot. I think that's how you say it, Kalaniot Books. It's a division of Endless Mountains Publishing, which is a small press in Pennsylvania. And the website says it has four titles that are coming soon. And there's not even cover art yet. But their intention is to publish Jewish children's books. So that's just something to watch.
So fingers crossed, Kalaniot. Do good!
Yes. And I also wanted to point out that many of the books that are recommended by bloggers or that win awards, or that are in PJ Library will also be from a wide variety of publishers, not just from Jewish publishers.
And I would encourage everybody to use IndieBound to go and find them. I mean, you can go to your local bookstore if you have one physically nearby, but you can support independent bookstores by shopping through IndieBound.org.
One of the reasons why we say that, you know, it's very easy and flippant to say, Amazon is evil. But Amazon is a truly problematic company. And, you know, I have sympathy for people who don't live anywhere near an independent bookstore or buy a ton of books, which unfortunately, the shipping when you're buying from an independent bookstore can be very, very expensive. But a problem with Amazon is that people are getting used to not having to really pay a lot of money for books and Amazon treats books, like a lollipop at the dentist's office. It's not the reason why they want you there. They don't need to make money on their books because they're making money on everything else, but that devalues books and makes it hard for the people who really do the hard work of publishing to survive.
Right. And Amazon has had some very problematic practices in terms of the way that they suppress certain titles or books from certain publishers, if the publishers aren't giving them the deal that they want, or the way that they undermine actual bookstores. I have an article that I can link to explain why Amazon is a problem. So I'll put that into the show notes.
They've also had some really problematic labor practices. Everybody deserves to make a living wage and have ...
... a tolerable workplace, and especially we Jews, knowing our history in the labor movement, a topic that fortunately does get covered Jewish children's books is the Triangle Factory fire. We want workplaces to be safe for everyone who works there. And for workers to feel welcomed and invested in the places where they work.
On that cheery note...!
On that cheerful note! Yeah, so I think we've covered -- Oh no. So I want to invite you to take part in the Tikkun Olam segment that we've been doing on The Book of Life and basically, this is your opportunity to invite listeners to do something to help heal the world.
I love this idea. The first thing that immediately comes to mind, because I did it yesterday, is if you are able to donate blood, please donate blood. Sadly, we are talking on the heels of yet another school shooting. And, you know, I have school aged children and I often feel very powerless when something terrible happens. Every hospital everywhere needs blood. And not everyone can donate, in part because of some really stupid, antiquated rules. We discussed the fact that you cannot donate blood because you lived abroad, right?
Well, I was a student in England, and therefore was exposed to mad cow disease because I wasn't a vegetarian. So, I've never had any symptoms, but ...
I was gonna say the symptoms might have showed up by now! But yeah, and you know, my brother can't donate because he's gay. So there are some really dumb rules, but not enough Americans donate blood, the blood supply is coming from some tiny proportion of repeat donors. So there's a lot of people who can give and don't. Even if the shooting is not in your neighborhood, there are always people you can help and it's such an easy way and they give you cookies. And in New York City where I live there's a point system and every time you give you get points and then you can redeem your points ... I just discovered this yesterday so I was very excited about this points thing because I never knew it happened, and now I looked and I have thousands of points. So I can get like, I can have like a Land's End gift card for like $75. It's very exciting. Yeah. So anyway, but if you can please donate.
Very good advice. Thank you. That's a great suggestion.
Is there anything else that we should talk about that we didn't already talk about?
Oh, I know. Ask librarians! Librarians are our best resources in life, if they've heard of cool Jewish books that you should read, and they can help you also search if your kid you know, both of my kids went through obsessions, and you may be able to meet your kid's obsessions with Jewish books, and librarians are great to ask.
It can't believe I didn't think that!
You know why? Because you're, you're too close. You're inside and I'm an outsider. So I am aware all the time of the awesomeness that is librarians.
Thank you for bringing that up. Yes, absolutely everybody should ask their local librarian for suggestions. I'd also point out, as you you mentioned, that you can use Jewish books to fulfill their other obsessions. So for example, a kid who has an assignment at school to read a biography, it could be a biography about a Jewish person, you know, I mean, you can always find a way to, to diversify your assignments
I joke about you know, so many Jewish sports books are Sandy Koufax who kids today don't even...
They're all Sandy Koufax!
But they aren't! You know, like, there was, there's a great sort of I think it's YA actually, called The Berlin Boxing Club.
And there's Zishe the Strong Man, which is a picture book about a weightlifter. And I'm trying to think of other sort of cool... there's a middle grade biography of Aly Raisman. How do you say her name, Reisman, Raisman, the gymnast?
I think so. And there's... Anne Dublin years and years ago wrote a great book about ...What was her name? She was an Olympian. And she was good at like all the sports. And now I cannot remember the name of the person, but it was a wonderful biography
Was it Babe Didrikson?
I don't think it was, I don't even know. Let me Google it.
Google it. Okay. And while you're Googling, I had another thought of Rich Michelson wrote a book about Lipman Pike, who was a very early Jewish baseball player who was not Sandy Koufax. Oh, also, it's terrible but Julian Edelman, the former New England Patriot, wrote a children's book which I find hilarious. And if you if your kid is a Patriots fan, which I really don't know why they would be... come at me! You know, Come at me, bro! See if your favorite Jewish athlete or your favorite, you know, Jewish celebrity wrote a book, that's a way in. You can talk about it with your kid.
Yeah, I agree. That book did not impress me. But you know, it's fun to get a book by somebody who you're a fan of.
Yeah, it's about a Theodore Hertzl quoting squirrel.
I looked it up and the Olympics book was Bobby Rosenfeld, the Olympian Who Could Do Everything by Anne Dublin and that was a great book.
Awesome. I don't know that one. I'm gonna look it up.
That's from a while ago. I think it's like 2004 or something. But yes, good point. So, sports as an example, the tip of the iceberg. Yes, you can, you can turn most topics into a way to read Jewish.
Oh, I was going to ask: So the Hanukkah season approaches. Now I know that there are, quote unquote too many Hanukkah books in relation to other Jewish holidays. You know, there are more Hanukkah books and more Passover books than there are about Rosh Hashanah or Shavuot or whatever. So it's out of balance. That said...
It's out of balance because Hanukkah is not a really important Jewish holiday.
And because Hanukkah is not even a really important holiday. It's only elevated by its proximity to Christmas. That said, I like Hanukkah books.
And also you have so many gifts to give, you know give some books!
Exactly! So in this book giving season, do you have any particular Hanukkah book that you want to shout out?
Honestly, my very number one favorite Hanukkah book is out of print which is horrifying to me. But it's The Latke That Couldn't Stop Screaming.
I LOVE the Latke That Couldn't Stop Screaming!
It that makes me laugh so hard! But you know, there are used copies floating around. I, I liked more than other people seemed to, there was a book a couple of years ago called Oskar and the Eight Blessings. I don't know why nobody else liked it but me. Do you know?
I don't know. I've seen it. I'm not remembering it that well right now.
It's a little boy who is traveling through New York City trying to walk to a relative's house, like I think he's like a new immigrant. And he experiences all of these great New York City moments of kindness, many with celebrities like seeing a great jazz musician or... so maybe the fact that it's historically iffy, but I read it as a total fantasy and I thought it was beautiful and the art is gorgeous. What are other Hanukkah books that I love? Oh, Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins! What's wrong with me?
It is so scary. I don't know how this thing got published. It is so scary. But kids love scary. It's adults that freak out about scary. It is delicious. It is a classic for a reason when it's 30 years old and as scary as it ever was.
It's absolutely the most popular Hanukkah book in my library.
I love that! The kids know, they know, that one's an awesome book.
It is and the illustrations are great. Trina Schart Hyman, just incredible. I want to shout out the book that was the big deal last year and that then won the Sydney Taylor in January...
... which is the All-of-a-Kind Family Hanukkah by Emily Jenkins, Paul Zelinsky did the illustrations, and i love it so much!
I do too and I was very open about the fact that I was dreading this book and I thought it would be horrible and I was offended that they would take the legendary memory of Sydney Taylor, who wrote middle grade and did not do picture books and turn it into this opportunistic picture book that turned out to be incredible and I eat my words like a latke.
Like a latke, you eat your words with applesauce on top.
Yes, because this is a book that is a new story that they added to the canon of All-of-a-Kind Family so it's basically fanfiction. But it's done so well that I went through the books looking for, thinking did this happen? I'm sure this must have happened because it felt so authentic.
Yes, the, the triumph of taking these characters we know so well, from books upon books upon books and managing to convey... I'm thinking particularly about Gertie, the youngest one. We really get her personality in these, the sketch that is the length of a picture book between her words and his illustrations. It's absolutely the Gertie we know and love.
Right. I really hope they're going to do more of those.
MUSIC, PROMO: The Association of Jewish Libraries and The Book of Life's Jewish Kidlit Mavens Facebook group and the Jewish Book Council present #Readukkah, a Jewish reading challenge for all ages. To participate just post about any Jewish book online. Where online, you ask? We've provided a Facebook event where you can post about Jewish books, but you can also do it anywhere you normally post things, on your blog, on GoodReads, on any form of social media. Just be sure to use the hashtag Readukkah, so we can find your post. Of course, people spell Hanukkah in lots of ways. So let me point out that that is R E A D U K K A H. with two K's. By sharing your hashtag Readukkah posts, you help spread the word about great Jewish books. This creates demand which, God willing, supports the publication of more Jewish books. So do an easy and fun mitzvah by helping to expand the universe of Jewish literature by participating in Readukkah. Visit BookofLifepodcast.com for details. END PROMO
Okay, well, I think this is a lot of great information...
I thought of one thing that you and I were going to mention, we were just going to list the secular publishers who do publish a decent amount of Jewish children's literature. We said Orca, Albert Whitman, Scholastic, Holiday House, Second Story Press and Abrams. That's not to say that they're alone in this, that that all the big publishers have published at least one good Jewish book. So just keep your eyes open and hope that they make more.
Right. I would say those are are some that sort of make it a habit.
Yes. Oh, you also mentioned Eerdmans, which is a religious publisher that occasionally does Jewish books among the other religions.
Right, they do a lot of sort of across the board, Judeo Christian type things. So some of them work for Jewish collections. Okay!
I think that was everything we were going to talk about.
Well, I hope that this gives listeners somewhere to start if they are seeking Jewish books, either for holiday gifts or just for their own collections or year round. I think that this gives people a basis for getting started.
Give it a shot. Okay.
All right. Well, everybody should, should read good health.
So thank you, Marjorie. This is so much fun. I'm so happy to have an excuse to chat with you.
Likewise. Thank you, Heidi. I really appreciate you having me. That was really fun.
MUSIC, TEASER: Hi, I'm Debbie Levy, author Yiddish Saves the Day.
Hi, I'm Sue Macy author of The Book Rescuer
Hi, this is Valerie Estelle Frankel, and I'm the author of Chelm for the Holidays. We will be joining you soon on the Book of Life podcast.
We'd like to dedicate this episode to our Yiddish speaking forebears.
MUSIC, OUTRO: Don't be a stranger. Say hi to Heidi 561-206-2473 or BookofLifepodcast@gmail.com. Check out our Facebook page or our Facebook discussion group Jewish Kidlit Mavens. We are occasionally on Twitter too. There are lots of ways to support the show through Patreon and through donations to our home library, the Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel of Boca Raton, Florida. You can find links for all of that and more at BookofLifePodcast.com. Our background music is provided by the Freilachmakers Klezmer String Band. Thanks for listening and happy reading.