The Hanukkah countdown has officially begun. There are just over two weeks before we dust off our menorahs and get this festival of lights underway (the first night, for those not keeping track, is Tuesday, December 16th).
If you’re looking to add one more tradition to your family’s Hanukkah celebration, “The Mensch on a Bench” may be just what you’re looking for. Featuring both a book and “mensch” doll, the set helps teach kids the story of Hanukkah and the importance of being a good person, or a mensch.
We’re giving away three “Mensches” to three lucky readers. To enter, fill out the form below, and we’ll choose a winner next Monday, December 8th. Good luck, and happy Hanukkah!
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No effort is more futile or maddening than trying to persuade a picky eater that food is necessary to survive.
The best-selling author of the refreshingly blunt children’s book titled “Go the F**k to Sleep” understands that pain more than you know. Adam Masbach is back with a long-awaited sequel, “You Have to F**king Eat,” published by indie publishing house, Akashic Books.
Despite the naughty language, in 2011, Mansbach’s debut topped The New York Times bestseller list, selling 1.5 million copies worldwide. When inimitable Samuel L. Jackson did a dramatic narration of the book for Audible, “Go the F**k to Sleep” quickly became a viral sensation. Read the rest of this entry →
Ione Skye solidified her role as teen idol when she played Diane Court in “Say Anything…” alongside John Cusack in 1989. Since then, Ione’s kept herself busy with acting, including a guest stint on “Arrested Development,” as well as becoming a mother of two. She recently added “author” to her list of many titles with the release of her children’s book, “My Yiddish Vacation,” an adorable picture book that introduces kids to the wonderful world of Yiddish. We chatted with Ione about her own Yiddish-speaking grandparents, her family’s unique mix of tradition, and of course, boom boxes.
We’re also giving away three copies of Ione’s book, “My Yiddish Vacation,” to three lucky readers. To enter the giveaway, scroll down to the bottom of this post.
1. We immediately fell in love with the story, the characters, and the language in your children’s book, “My Yiddish Vacation.” What was your inspiration? Read the rest of this entry →
“The Kissing Bandit” is an indie children’s book that celebrates the importance of positive affection between parents and kids. The brainchild of Jewish dads Jason Menayan and Aaron Dence, “The Kissing Bandit” started as a kickstarter campaign and eventually became an interactive story about the dapper Professor Roade who magically transforms into colorful bandit Edora, and a hand-made reversible puppet to go with it. This week Jason and Aaron will be giving away a book and puppet set to three lucky winners (enter the raffle below).
Meanwhile, we sat down with Jason to talk about his inspiration for the book and what he kvells about.
1. What was the inspiration for “The Kissing Bandit”? Read the rest of this entry →
It seemed like an easy enough question. What books could I use to teach my preschooler about Tisha B’Av? Since my son was born, children’s books had heralded every event of his life, big or small. We had Boynton for waking up and bedtime; “How Are You Peeling?” to discuss emotions, Berenstain Bears to assist with our move to a new city, and I had bought picture books for every Jewish holiday. But the first time I tried to explain why I wasn’t eating or drinking on a hot summer day, I didn’t have a book to help me.
The concept of fasting was relatively easy.
“Not eating is a way of remembering sad things that have happened,” I told my 3-year-old. “When we don’t eat, our bodies feel bad, and that reminds us of feeling bad in our hearts. It’s also a way of talking to God. It’s like we’re saying, ‘God, help me. I feel so sad about what happened, I can’t even eat anything!’” I stopped and responded to simple questions about when I could eat again and whether I was allowed to drink water. But my son didn’t stop there. Read the rest of this entry →
A few weeks after my son was born, I made up a lullaby that I’d sing before putting him to bed. Back then, getting my son into his crib was a simple matter of swapping his diaper for a new one and belting out a two-minute song before calling it a night (yep, we were very fortunate). But somehow, over the past two years our bedtime routine has evolved from a quick pajama change and lullaby into a 45-minute extravaganza complete with stories, videos, and many, many songs. And it just seems to be growing by the day.
Here’s how things will typically go down: First, my son will run around his room like a maniac as I attempt to grab hold of him and lift him onto his changing table. From there, he’ll wiggle and squirm as I desperately work to get his pajamas on. After he’s clothed, we’ll head to the bathroom to brush his teeth, which often takes longer than necessary thanks to my son’s desire to touch absolutely everything on the counter before finally opening wide.
But once his pajamas are on and his teeth are brushed, the real fun begins. It starts with a story from a collection of books we store crib-side. Ever since he was about 1.5, we started giving our son the privilege of selecting his bedtime story himself. What this now means is that he’ll pick up every book on the pile before choosing one–and then once we settle into our rocking chair to read it, he’ll invariably bolt off my lap, insisting that he made the wrong book choice. If I don’t let him switch, a fit will most likely ensue, so I usually allow him one book swap before putting my foot down. Read the rest of this entry →
Still looking for ways to get your kids amped up for Passover? When in doubt, add DINOSAURS!
“Dinosaur on Passover” is the perfect story to celebrate Passover with your kids. It’s the story of an eager, playful dinosaur who show’s up at a young boy’s house for the seder and causes a bit of havoc. Discover even more Passover e-books for kids here.
We’ve got one free download of “Dinosaur on Passover” to give away to a lucky reader. To enter, just fill out the form below and we’ll choose a winner on Monday, April 14th.
There has been a lot on Kveller about books for Jewish children but I have not seen any mention of my own favorites. So, after decades of reading to my children and grandchildren, here are my own top 10 picks for you to share with the children you love (between the ages of 3-8, all available on Amazon):
You know Franz Kafka? The author of The Metamorphosis, the story of a man who turns into a giant bug? Well, now your kids can know him, too.
Kveller contributor and author Matthue Roth has a new children’s book out that we’re super excited about. My First Kafka retells three Kafka stories, including The Metamorphosis, but this time with a much younger audience in mind. Considering the subject matter–runaway children who meet up with monsters; a giant talking bug; a secret world of mouse-people–it’s no wonder why Roth decided to bring these quirky stories to younger readers. To learn more about My First Kafka, check out today’s feature on Jewniverse (which if you haven’t been reading already, you really must).
So now let’s get to the good part: we’ve got five copies of My First Kafka to giveaway to five lucky readers. To enter, fill out the form below and we’ll choose a winner next Wednesday, July 3rd.