While there are many, many books available about Jewish holidays, I have found most of them merely adequate. Since my children and I are already familiar with the holidays, I'm usually not looking for books that explain their historical background or how to observe them. I'm really seeking books that simply take place during a certain holiday, transmit Jewish values and, most importantly, tell a good story. Here are my two favorites and one series I just can't stand.
Thursday, March 31, 2011
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Ramona the Pest is the second (depending on how you count) in this eight-book series which was, remarkably, written over a span of 44 years. In my opinion these books stand the test of time and I am enjoying them as much, if not more, as I did when I read them the first time. My daughter seems to agree (although I was dismayed to learn recently that a friend of mine does not), as she and I are on our second cycle of reading the entire series at her request. I was so pleased (and impressed) when she pointed out that
upon rereading "you can notice things you didn't notice the first time." With some gentle questioning (i.e. interrogation), I discovered that she had learned this bit of wisdom from her beloved kindergarten teacher. She recently named a doll/Purim grogger (noisemaker) that she made Ramona in honor of the series' well-meaning but impulsive, creative and mischievous heroine.
|My daughter's Ramona|
Monday, March 21, 2011
Monday, March 14, 2011
Friday, March 11, 2011
Mary Had a Little Lamp by Jack Lechner (disclaimer: he and his family live down the block from me and we are friendly; this review, however, is entirely my own opinion) is a whimsical take on the well-known children's nursery rhyme. Everyone knows a child with a slightly odd transitional object. But Mary's parents are concerned by her choice, a lamp. My favorite verse? "Their doctor [who appears to be a psychiatrist] said/'I've never seen/So puzzling a condition./But lamps are not my specialty/You need an electrician.'" Mary finally gives up her lamp... only to become attached to another unusual object! Don't miss the droll blurbs on the back, with comments from other nursery rhyme characters ("I hated it," says Mary, Mary Quite Contrary). With distinctive, cartoony art by Bob Staake, this one's a winner.
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Sunday, March 6, 2011
We have the usual gender divide in our family: the girls and I read mostly fiction and my husband reads mostly nonfiction. My girls have gone through phases where they are interested in certain nonfiction topics, particularly the human body and New York City, both of which I hope to write about eventually. But generally, we stick to the fiction side of things.