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May 17 2013

We Don’t Talk About God, We Debate God

By at 12:35 pm
bread falling form sky

Bread falling from the sky. Really?

This post is part of our month-long series featuring different ways that parents of various religions have talked to their kids about God.

We don’t talk about God in my house. We debate God.

This is something I could never have anticipated–that two brothers, 18 months apart in age, given the same religious education, books, and influences, could disagree so completely about matters of faith. But this is how it goes:

Mose is 7. He thinks God is probably not real. But he believes in “nature and patterns.” He came up with this himself. Read the rest of this entry →

Mar 15 2013

PJ Library Corner: Interview with Laurel Snyder, Author of The Longest Night

By at 9:39 am

the longest night laurel snyderOne of the most unique Passover children’s books we’ve seen yet is the new picture book from Laurel Snyder, The Longest Night. Like many books of the sort, it retells the story of Exodus, but it’s told from the perspective of a young Jewish girl. And where other kids books may skip or doll up some of the more violent/sad parts of the Passover story, Snyder stays pretty true to the script. It makes for a compelling read, and we were lucky enough to sit down with Laurel and ask her a few questions.

**The Longest Night is a PJ Library book, as well as Snyder’s previous children’s book, Baxter, the Pig Who Wanted to be KosherTo get great Jewish books like these for free every month, sign up for PJ Library. If you’re in the New York metro area, sign up through Kveller here. If you live elsewhere, check out this map to find your local PJ community.**

It seems like the plagues get a lot of attention when it comes to celebrating Passover with kids, but they’re usually cutesied upplague finger puppets, plague masks, plague bowling set, etc. The plagues in your book are decidedly not cute (no offense). Why did you choose to present a more realistic view of the plagues, and do those cutesy products mentioned above bother you?

Honestly, there’s something fascinating about taking the gruesome and making it playful. I’m not offended at all. But we should ask what we’re trying to accomplish when we do that. Read the rest of this entry →

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