Across the Alley by Richard Michelson; E. B. Lewis (Illustrator)
Publication Date: 2006-10-05
Abe and Willie live across the alley from each other. Willie is black and Abe is Jewish, and during the day, they don't talk. But at night they open their windows and are best friends. Willie shows Abe how to throw a real big-league slider, and Abe gives Willie his violin to try out. Then one night, Abe's grandfather catches them--will Abe and Willie have the courage to cross the alley and reveal their friendship during the day? Like the bestselling The Other Side, E. B. Lewis's striking, atmospheric watercolors bring to life a moving story of baseball and music, and how two young people try to bridge the divide of prejudice.
- Cybils Awards, 2006, Nominee, Fiction Picture Book
- National Jewish Book Award, 2006, Finalist, Illustrated Children's Book
- Paterson Prize for Books for Young People, 2007, Special Recognition
- Sydney Taylor Book Award, 2007, Notable Book, Younger Reader
Chicken Sunday by Patricia Polacco
Publication Date: 1998-02-09
After being initiated into a neighbor's family by a solemn backyard ceremony, a young Russian American girl and her African American brothers' determine to buy their gramma Eula a beautiful Easter hat. But their good intentions are misunderstood, until they discover just the right way to pay for the hat that Eula's had her eye on. A loving family story woven from the author's childhood. "Polacco has outdone herself with these joyful, energetic illustrations, her vibrant colors even richer and more intense than usual, while authentic details enhance the interest.
- Golden Kite Award, 1993, Award Book, Picture Book Illustration
- Golden Kite Award, 1992, Winner, Picture Book Illustration
The Christmas Mitzvah by Jeff Gottesfeld; Michelle Laurentia Agatha (Illustrator)
Publication Date: 2021-09-07
Al Rosen, a Jewish man, takes on the jobs of his Christian neighbors on Christmas Eve and day so they can spend the holiday with their families, starting a tradition that lasts for decades. A mitzvah, as Al explains, is a good deed, especially apt on holidays. A strong cross-over read, this warm story is about kindness and differences bringing people together.
Awards & Honors:
- Best Jewish Children's Book of 2021 by Tablet Magazine
- Sydney Taylor Honor Award
Doctor Esperanto and the Language of Hope by Mara Rockliff; Zosia Dzierzawska (Illustrator)
Publication Date: 2019-03-12
Meet the boy who made up his own language -- and brought hope to millions. Once there was a town of many languages but few kind words. Growing up Jewish in Bialystok, Poland, in the late 1800s, young Leyzer Zamenhof was surrounded by languages: Russian, Yiddish, German, Polish, and many others. But the multiethnic Bialystok was full of mistrust and suspicion, and Leyzer couldn't help but wonder: If everyone could understand each other, wouldn't they be able to live in peace? So Zamenhof set out to create a new language, one that would be easy to learn and could connect people around the world. He published a book of his new language and signed it Dr. Esperanto -- "one who hopes." Mara Rockliff uses her unique knack for forgotten history to tell the story of a young man who saw possibility where others saw only barriers, while Polish illustrator Zosia Dzierzawska infuses every scene with warmth and energy, bringing the story of Esperanto to life.
- Cybils Awards, 2019, Nominee, Elementary and Middle Grade(Nonfiction)
- Sydney Taylor Book Award, 2020, Notable Book, Picture Book
Feivel's Flying Horses by Heidi Smith Hyde; Johanna van der Sterre (Illustrator)
Publication Date: 2010-01-01
A loving father carves carousel horses that represent members of his family as he saves money to bring them from Europe to America. This book is a work of historical fiction based on the stories of Jewish woodcarvers who came from the Old Country and turned their talents to carving carousel horses on Coney Island.
- National Jewish Book Award, 2010, Finalist, Illustrated Children's Book
- Sydney Taylor Book Award, 2011, Notable Book, Younger Reader
The Flower Girl Wore Celery by Meryl G. Gordon; Holly Clifton-Brown (Illustrator)
Publication Date: 2016-08-01
Emma can't wait for her cousin Hannah's wedding. She's going to be the flower girl. That means she'll wear a celery dress and walk down the aisle with the ring bear, leading the way for the happy bride and groom. Or at least, that's what Emma assumes. But nothing turns out to be quite what she's expecting, as Hannah's new spouse turns out to be another bride!
- Best Jewish Children's Books, 2016 Picture Books
Gabriel's Horn by Eric A. Kimmel; Maria Surducan (Illustrator)
Publication Date: 2016-08-01
A mysterious soldier appears at the door hands Gabriel a tarnished horn, and disappears. As the years go by, Gabriel's family prospers and they, in turn, help their neighbors. Could their good luck have something to do with the soldier or the horn?
- Sydney Taylor Book Award, 2017, Notable Book, Younger Reader
It's a ... It's a ... It's a Mitzvah by Liz Suneby; Diane Heiman; Laurel Molk (Illustrator)
Publication Date: 2012-05-01
A fun-filled introduction to the joys of doing good deeds and mitzvot. Join Mitzvah Meerkat and friends as they introduce children to the everyday kindnesses that mark the beginning of a Jewish journey and a lifetime commitment to tikkun olam (repairing the world). Through lively illustrations and playful dialogue, children engage with Jewish wisdom as they share in welcoming new friends, forgiving mistakes, respecting elders, sharing food with the hungry, and much, much more.
Jalapeno Bagels by Natasha Wing; Robert Casilla (Illustrator)
Publication Date: 1996-06-01
Pablo can't decide what to take to school for International Day. He wants to pick something from the bakery his parents own, something that represents his heritage, but what? There are the pan dulce and chango bars his Mexican mother prepares, but the bagels and challah made by his Jewish father are equally tempting. Then, when Pablo begins to help his parents prepare the Sunday morning baking, he comes up with the perfect choice.
- Americas Award for Children's and Young Adult Literature, 1996, Commended, Grades K-3
- Tomas Rivera Mexican American Children's Book Award, 1997, Nominee
Kiddish Yiddish: Jewish Traditions & Culture in Rhyme by Barbara Feltquate; Illustrated by Tom Post
Publication Date: 2008
From Bagel to Shalom, this children's glossary of Jewish words in rhyme follows three generations of a family through a year of holidays, rituals and traditions. Poems and illustrations tell stories in the way grandparents share memories with their offspring, encouraging further discussion about the rich contribution of Hebrew and Yiddish to our language and society. Ideal for parents, grandparents, teachers and librarians that enjoy reading with children and exploring the ABCs of Jewish culture.
- Florida Authors and Publishers Association (FAPA) President's Book Award, 2009, Gold, Children's (Non-Fiction)
- Moonbeam Children's Book Award, 2008, Bronze, Religion/Spirituality
- National Indie Excellence Award, 2009, Winner, Children (Religion)
Mrs. Katz and Tush by Patricia Polacco
Publication Date: 1994-03-01
Friends from different backgrounds come together in this heartwarming picture book from beloved children's book author Patricia Polacco! Larnel doesn't know his neighbor, Mrs. Katz, very well, until he asks her to adopt an abandoned kitten. Mrs. Katz agrees on one condition: that Larnel help her take care of the kitten she names Tush. When Larnel starts spending more and more time with Mrs. Katz to help with Tush, Mrs. Katz tells him stories about coming to America from Poland and about the good times she spent with her late husband. As Larnel grows to love Mrs. Katz, he also learns about the common themes of suffering and triumph in each of their cultures.
- Jane Addams Children's Book Award, 1993, Honor Book, Picture Book
- Sydney Taylor Book Award, 1992, Notable Book, Younger Reader
Lipman Pike by Richard Michelson; Zachary Pullen (Illustrator)
Publication Date: 2011-02-14
In the mid 1800s the sport of baseball was working its wayacross the United States. Amateur teams were springing upand in 1858 the National Association of Base Ball Playerswas formed. Young men were eager to show their prowesson the field and in the batter's box.Lipman Pike's father, a Dutch immigrant, runs a smallhaberdashery in Brooklyn, New York, though Lip is moreinterested in watching the ball players than workingbehind the counter. His mother doesn't approve -- Jewishboys should be paying attention to more sensible matters.But when Lip is barely a teenager, he's invited to join theNationals Junior Club and play first base. When he hits hisfirst pitch over the right fielder's head, Lip knows baseballis the sport for him.Award-winning author Richard Michelson chronicles themeteoric rise of one of baseball's earliest (and unsung)champions.
- Cybils Awards, 2011, Nominee, Fiction Picture Book
- National Jewish Book Award, 2011, Finalist, Illustrated Children's Book
- Sydney Taylor Book Award, 2012, Notable Book, Younger Reader
Light the Menorah! by Jacqueline Jules; Kristina Swarner (Illustrator)
Publication Date: 2018-08-01
In this Hanukkah manual for the contemporary Jewish family, holiday history, rituals, activities, songs, and recipes provide tools for creating meaningful family moments in the light of the menorah. The book includes brief reflections to read aloud before reciting the candle-lighting blessings on each of the eight nights of Hanukkah.
- Sydney Taylor Book Award, 2019, Notable Book
The Only One Club by Jane Naliboff; Jeff Hopkins (Illustrator)
Publication Date: 2013-10-01
This heartwarming story explores the many ways in which children feel unique and special. Mrs. Matthews' first grade class begins making Christmas decorations, but because Jennifer is Jewish, Mrs. Matthews allows her to make Hanukkah decorations instead. Jennifer enjoys the attention and creates "The Only One Club," of which she is the sole member. When her classmates want to join, she is resistant until she realizes that each of her friends is also "the only one" at something. As she inducts them into her club she reveals the unique qualities that make each of her classmates extraordinary. Through this touching story, young children are encouraged to discover and treasure their own uniqueness and to actively look for special qualities in others beyond race or culture.
- Society of School Librarians International Book Awards, 2005, Honor Book, Language Arts Picture Book
Papa's Latkes by Michelle Edwards; Stacey Schuett (Illustrator)
Publication Date: 2007-08-28
For Selma and her little sister, this is their first Chanukah without Mama. When Papa comes home carrying all the ingredients for latkes, Selma is worried. Can they make the latkes without Mama? In Michelle Edwards's poignant story, warmly illustrated by Stacey Schuett, Selma comes to realize that while Chanukah — and especially latkes; will never be the same without Mama, Selma can still celebrate, and will always remember.
- Sydney Taylor Book Award, 2004, Notable Book, Younger Reader
Passover Family by Monique Polak
Publication Date: 2018-02-13
Teach babies and toddlers about this important Jewish festival by exploring what happens during the Passover seder with this delightful photographic board book. This primer features family and friends coming together to share a meal, tell stories and sing songs, and encourages little ones to participate in this special time. Children of all faiths will enjoy the bright photos and primary text that focuses on bringing family together to celebrate and observe a holiday tradition.
- Quebec Writers' Federation Prize for Children's and Young Adult Literature, 2018, Nominee
The Patchwork Torah by Allison Maile Ofanansky; Elsa Oriol (Illustrator)
Publication Date: 2014-01-01
As a child, David watches his grandfather, a Torah scribe or sofer, finish a Torah scroll for the synagogue. "A Torah is not something to be thrown away," his Grandfather explains. David's grandfather carefully stores the old Torah his new one has replaced in his cabinet, hoping to one day repair the letters so the Torah can be used again. David grows up and becomes a sofer just like his grandfather. Through the years, people bring him damaged Torahs they have saved from danger and disaster - one damaged by Nazi soldiers during World War II, one damaged in a fire in a synagogue, and one in flooding during Hurricane Katrina. David stores each of these precious Torahs in his cabinet, until his granddaughter Leah gives him the idea to make a recycled Torah from the salvaged Torah scrolls.
- National Jewish Book Award, 2014, Winner, Children's Book
- Sydney Taylor Book Award, 2007, Honor Award, Younger Reader
Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Jonah Winter; Stacy Innerst (Illustrator)
Publication Date: 2017-08-08
A New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Books of 2017 An ALA/ALSC Notable Children's Book To become the first female Jewish Supreme Court Justice, the unsinkable Ruth Bader Ginsburg had to overcome countless injustices. Growing up in Brooklyn in the 1930s and '40s, Ginsburg was discouraged from working by her father, who thought a woman's place was in the home. Regardless, she went to Cornell University, where men outnumbered women four to one. There, she met her husband, Martin Ginsburg, and found her calling as a lawyer. Despite discrimination against Jews, females, and working mothers, Ginsburg went on to become Columbia Law School's first tenured female professor, a judge for the US Court of Appeals, and finally, a Supreme Court Justice. Structured as a court case in which the reader is presented with evidence of the injustice that Ginsburg faced, Ruth Bader Ginsburg is the true story of how one of America's most "notorious" women bravely persevered to become the remarkable symbol of justice she is today.
- Cybils Awards, 2017, Nominee, Elementary and Middle Grade (Nonfiction)
- New York Times/New York Public Library Best Illustrated Children's Books Award, 2017, Winner, Children's Book
- Sydney Taylor Book Award, 2018, Notable Book, Younger Reader
The Shema in the Mezuzah by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso; Joani Keller Rothenberg (Illustrator)
Publication Date: 2012-08-23
In a divided world, where the one who shouts the loudest often gets the most attention, a story about compromise and listening. "Standing UP!" "Lying DOWN!" What were the people to do? They decided to ask the rabbi of the town. "What are we to do?" they asked. "Shall we put the mezuzah standing up or lying down?" The townspeople have mezuzahs but cannot agree on how to put them up on their doorways. Should they place them horizontally or vertically, standing up or lying down? To end their arguing, they consult the wise rabbi of the town, who advises them to carefully read the Shema in the mezuzah to find the answer.
- National Jewish Book Award, 2012, Winner, Illustrated Children's Book
Stones for Grandpa by Renee Londner; Martha Graciela Avilés (Illustrator)
Publication Date: 2013-01-01
A little boy and his family gather at the cemetery for the unveiling of his grandpa's gravestone, bringing stones to place on the grave, in the Jewish custom. They tell stories that help the boy deal with his loss, reminding him of the wonderful memories he has of his grandpa.
Streets of Gold by Rosemary Wells; Dan Andreasen (Illustrator); Phyllis J. Fogelman (Editor)
Publication Date: 1999-05-01
Masha, a young Russian girl, is terribly afraid of the czar, whose piercing eyes glare at her from the portrait Masha's parents must keep on the wall. In the last decade of the nineteenth century, the czar's harsh anti-Semitic laws forbid Masha, who is Jewish, from going to school-something the bright, inquisitive girl desperately wishes to do. When her family immigrates to America, Masha not only achieves the long-desired education, but also gains success as a poet, and a love for her new country that will last all her life.
- National Jewish Book Award, 1999, Finalist, Picture Book
- Sydney Taylor Book Award, 1999, Notable Book, Younger Reader
The Tattered Prayerbook by Ellen Bari
Publication Date: 2013-04-30
The Tattered Prayer Book is meant as a gentle introduction to the Holocaust for children ages 6-10. Ruthie discovers a secret about her father, while looking through a box of mementos from the old country. As her father tells his surprising story, Ruthie learns a piece of her father s story, a slice of Jewish history and the circumstances under which the family fled Nazi Germany. A burnt prayer book taken in secret from a destroyed synagogue after Kristallnacht offers solace to her father as a young boy, at the most difficult time in his life. Once safely settled in America, he tries to bury the prayer book along with his painful past. Many years later, sharing the story with Ruthie, allows father to heal and daughter to grow.
- Moonbeam Children's Book Award, 2013, Silver, Pre-Teen Fiction (Mature Issues)
This Is the Matzah by Abby Levine; Paige Billin-Frye (Illustrator)
Publication Date: 2005-01-01
Max and his family prepare to celebrate Passover. In cumulative verse, Max and his sister Ruth shop for matzah in the Passover aisle of the grocery store. The family gathers for the traditional Seder that celebrates this holiday of freedom.
The Yankee at the Seder by Elka Weber; Adam Gustavson (Illustrator)
Publication Date: 2009-03-10
The war is over, and everyone is saying the South lost. Ten-year-old Jacob would give anything to show those Yankees that not all Confederates are ready to surrender. He gets his chance when he sees a real, live Yankee soldier walking down his street, on leave for Passover. But before Jacob can think of a way to be brave, the Yankee asks him for a piece of his matzoh. This true story about a Jewish Yankee soldier joining a Southern family’s Passover meal shows how common values can overcome even the most divisive differences. Gathered around the seder table, the group discusses what it means to be free--a subject as relevant today as it was during the War between the States and during the Exodus.
- Sydney Taylor Book Award, 2010, Honor Book, Younger Reader
Yes! We Are Latinos by Alma Flor Ada; F. Isabel Campoy; David Diaz (Illustrator)
Publication Date: 2016-03-01
Juanita lives in New York and is Mexican. Felipe lives in Chicago and is Panamanian, Venezuelan, and black. Michiko lives in Los Angeles and is Peruvian and Japanese. Each of them is also Latino. Thirteen young Latinos and Latinas living in America are introduced in this book celebrating the rich diversity of the Latino and Latina experience in the United States. Free-verse fictional narratives from the perspective of each youth provide specific stories and circumstances for the reader to better understand the Latino people's quest for identity. Each profile is followed by nonfiction prose that further clarifies the character's background and history, touching upon important events in the history of the Latino American people, such as the Spanish Civil War, immigration to the US, and the internment of Latinos with Japanese ancestry during World War II.
- Cybils Awards, 2013, Nominee, Elementary and Middle Grade(Poetry)
- International Latino Book Award, 2014, 1st Place, Best Young Adult Book
You Never Heard of Sandy Koufax?! by Jonah Winter; Andre Carrilho (Illustrator)
Publication Date: 2016-03-08
In this striking picture book biography, an old-timer tells us what made Sandy Koufax such an amazing baseball player. We learn that the beginning of his career with the Brooklyn Dodgers was rocky, that he was shy with his teammates, and experienced discrimination as one of the only Jews in the game. We hear that he actually quit, only to return the next season--different--firing one rocket after another over the plate. We watch him refuse to play in the 1965 World Series because it is a Jewish high holy day. And we see him in pain because of an overused left arm, eventually retiring at the peak of his career. Finally, we are told that people are still "scratchin' their heads over Sandy," who remains a modest hero and a mystery to this day.
- Sydney Taylor Book Award, 2010, Honor Book, Younger Reader