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Dec 13 2012

The Better Way to Read to Your Kids

By at 1:46 pm

siblings reading to each otherSometimes, while all four children are seated at the table, shoveling cheerios down their o-shaped mouths, I have tried to limit breakfast battles by reading a book.

It does not seem to matter what kind of book I read in the early hour; they all listen and concentrate on the tale at hand. With my children ranging from teen, tween and post-tot, it fascinates me that each child is able to enjoy the story, no matter what their reading level is. This has led me to think about the power of picture books and early reading comprehension. Read the rest of this entry →

Nov 8 2012

Free Stuff Alert: Hot Mamalah Schwag

By at 12:30 pm

hot mamalah lisa alcalay klugAre you a hot mamalah? Lisa Klug thinks you are, according to her new book, Hot Mamalah: The Ultimate Guide for Every Woman of the Tribe. The book is full of humourous essay, illustrations, how-tos, and recipes for the modern Jewish woman.

In honor of its publication, we are excited to share not one, but two giveaways for you to enter.

First is the Hot Mamalah Package Giveaway hosted on Modern Tribe. The prize here is valued at $300 and includes copies of both of Lisa Alcalay Klug’s books, Cool Jew and Hot Mamalah, as well as some amazing goodies from ModernTribe and a gift card to boot. This contest will be ongoing through November 28 and you can enter up to 16 times. Enter here. Read the rest of this entry →

Oct 15 2012

News Roundup: New Studies on ADHD, Autism, and CT Scans

By at 12:56 pm

All the Jewish parenting news you probably didn’t have time to read this week.

are you my mother? book cover

Part of the Kindergarten Canon.

- Education Analyst (and father) Michael Petrilli has developed a list of 100 books he feels every English-speaking child should read. (Thomas B. Fordham Institute)

- A new study by the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine shows that the development of ADHD in children may be linked to how much mercury-rich fish the child’s mother ate during her pregnancy. (Reuters)

- The Upper East Side is home to a great “breastfeeding resource,” Yummy Mummy, which caters to moms of every sort, and offers prenatal breastfeeding classes to locals. (New York Times)

- Children with autism may wander away from home more frequently than was once believed, according to a new study, which says that about half of those children with Autism Spectrum Disorder will run away from home, and of those, at least half are missing long enough to raise serious concern. (ABC News)

- A significant increase in the number of children given CT scans when brought to a hospital is raising a red flag for some who believe such tests may increase the risk of cancer later in life. (Reuters)

Sep 14 2012

There are Stars in Your Apples

By at 10:36 am

In 1990, at 8 years old, I went away to sleepaway camp for the first time. My parents chose Camp Morasha in Pennsylvania, 3,000 miles away from my Seattle abode, partially because my father had attended years earlier, and partially because it was filled with my cousins. It also granted them an excuse to eat their way through New York’s kosher restaurants on their way to seeing us on Visiting Day, but this is a realization I only came to recently.

Is listening to stories a traditional sleepaway camp activity? At Morasha it certainly was. Every Shabbat morning, instead of a speech about that week’s Torah portion, we were told a story. It was always about the animals of the Magical Forest. We looked forward to hearing about Leah the Lion, Moishy the Monkey, Ze’ev the Wolf, and more. Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 16 2012

Literview: Karl Taro Greenfeld, Author of Triburbia

By at 2:08 pm

triburbia karl taro greenfeld interview kvellerKarl Taro Greenfeld is a half-Japanese, half-Jewish writer whose work has taken him around the world in many ways. He was managing editor of TIME Asia, editor of Sports Illustrated and is the author of two books about Asia. Triburbia is his first foray into fiction, and is a Dubliners-esque portrait of a city–New York and specifically TriBeCa–through its people and parents. In the well-written series of stories that somehow all coalesce into a novel, parents learn how to parent by doing and kids learn how to torment one another much as the adults involved torment themselves. Greenfeld took time to do a Q&A with Kveller’s Jordana Horn about the transition from journalism to fiction, nightmares of parenting, and books with pink covers.

Your book is an ensemble piece of sorts, focusing on various parents in TriBeCa. What made you–a journalist who’s written extensively on Asia–take on this particular subject? Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 13 2012

Top Five Bedtime Books with a Surprising Jewish Twist

By at 6:18 am

jewish bedtime booksDo you read lots of books to your kids before bed? Are you always looking for new titles to add to the collection? And are you interested in instilling some Jewish religious values in your kids?

If so, consider adding one (or all) of these five books to your bedtime routine. Each one teaches the tykes a Jewish value* (even if its not immediately apparent). Lilah Tov!

* These values can all be traced back to the Torah or Jewish scripture. That said, these are human values, too, and each of these books can be understood that way, as well.

room on the broom1. Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson

What it’s about: The witch has a broom and a cat and a tall hat and long red braids. On her travels, she meets a dog and a frog and a bird that all ask if they can join her on the broom. The witch happily invites them to hop on. The broom breaks, and then the crew is accosted by a dragon. But the animals band together and save the witch. In gratitude, she builds a souped-up broom with something for everyone. Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 7 2012

Kveller Book Club: Interview with Anna Solomon

By at 12:07 pm

anna solomon the little bride kveller book club

As we gear up for our first Kveller book club discussion, here’s an interview with the author of The Little Bride, Anna Solomon. Be sure to check back here tomorrow around noon to discuss the book with Kveller’s contributing editors and other book clubbers! And then, on Thursday August 9, join us for a Twitter chat with Anna from 12-1 p.m. EST by following along with the hashtag #kvellerlit.

What was the initial inspiration for The Little Bride?

I was Googling myself! How lame is that, right? But there you go–it led me on a great adventure. I discovered an Anna Solomon Freudenthal, and a website called Stories Untold: Jewish Women Pioneers. Just the title fascinated me–I’d had no idea that there were Jewish pioneers in the American West. And when I came across one woman, Rachel Bella Calof, who’d been a mail-order bride to North Dakota, I knew I’d found a story I wanted to tell.

What kind of research did you have to do in order to write the book? Did you travel to South Dakota? Read the rest of this entry →

Jul 19 2012

Fifty Books Even Sexier than 50 Shades of Grey

By at 6:06 am

flowers in the atticI don’t like most mainstream porn. I don’t need to see every ingrown hair on an enthusiastically waxed vulva. Skin tags on testicles don’t do it for me. Close ups just aren’t sexy. They leave nothing to the imagination. It’s not that I don’t enjoy watching sex on the screen–in fact, there are scenes from Sexo y Lucia that are my go-to “entertainment” (ahem) when the kids are sleeping on Saturday afternoons. (And now you know.) It’s just that when the camera zooms in and I can practically screen the guy for testicular cancer or see the girl’s cervix, the whole thing becomes an anatomy lesson. So. Not. Sexy. (Unless Dr. House shows up. I’m just saying.)

Look. It cums down to this: I’m a big picture kind of girl who enjoys using her imagination. I like when we don’t see everything. In other words, pull the camera back a little and show me two–or three, or four or 10 or 100 or whatever–naked bodies writhing in ecstasy, and I’ll watch. Again and again.

And again. Read the rest of this entry →

Jul 17 2012

Is My Middle Child Doomed?

By at 1:37 pm

three kidsReading Jeffrey Kluger’s fascinating book, The Sibling Effect: What the Bonds Among Brothers and Sisters Reveal About Us, I learned that “Schoolhouse Rock” may have lied to me.

Three may well not be a magic number.

In fact, when it comes to the ideal number of children per family, three might possibly be the very worst one. (Fun fact: I have three kids! I would go for four, but my husband has informed me that while I may have as many children as I see fit, he’s never changing another diaper again. I am to do with that information what I will.) Read the rest of this entry →

Jun 26 2012

Interview with Interesting Jews: Joel Stein

By at 11:01 am

joel steinJoel Stein is a weekly columnist for TIME Magazine. Upon finding out that he was expecting a son, he realized he did not possess any of the classic “manly traits,” so he spent some time going on “man adventures,” which are chronicled in his new book, Man Made: A Stupid Quest for Masculinity. Below, he talks about his 70s Jewish childhood, who is allowed to drive a Lamborghini, and the time he laughed when his wife cried.

You grew up in Edison, New Jersey. What was your childhood there like? And can we agree that a New Jersey childhood makes you inherently predisposed to be hilarious? Read the rest of this entry →

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