Good Books

Letter to the Editor

Published February 08, 2012, issue of February 17, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share

On behalf of PJ Library, a program dedicated to giving the gift of quality Jewish children’s literature to families across North America and doing so at a rate of 95,000 books each month, I would like to respond to Deborah Kolben’s Jan. 31 column. “Where Have All the Good Jewish Books for Kids Gone?”

We who love children’s literature mourn the deaths of both Russell Hoban and Simms Taback. While their passings are sad, the world need not fear for children’s literature. To be involved with Jewish books today is to know that many fine authors and illustrators are at work writing compelling, contemporary, relevant stories that engage, charm, and make Jewish connections for our children. One only has to seek out PJ Library to know that fabulous books are being published more often and in greater quantities. Some favorites are: “Bagels from Benny” by Aubrey Davis, “How Dalia Put a Big Yellow Comforter Inside a Tiny Blue Box” by Linda Heller, “Picnic at Camp Shalom” by Jacqueline Jules, “The Only One Club” by Jane Naliboff, “A Sweet Passover” by Leslea Newman, “The Adventures of Rabbi Harvey” by Steve Sheinkin, and “A Song for My Sister” by Lesley Simpson.

We want and need many more stories that break the mold and speak to today’s Jewish families. Recently, Marshall Cavendish, a New York mainstream publisher, launched a new imprint called Shofar Books, dedicated to Jewish children’s literature. While it takes time to produce a greater supply, the movement is steady and strong. And readers agree. Every day, we hear from families who write about magical moments at bedtime when parents and children snuggle together around beautiful Jewish stories that spark meaningful conversations.

Marcie Greenfield Simons
Director
PJ Library North America
New York, N.Y.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • Would you get to know racists on a first-name basis if you thought it might help you prevent them from going on rampages, like the recent shooting in Kansas City?
  • "You wouldn’t send someone for a math test without teaching them math." Why is sex ed still so taboo among religious Jews?
  • Russia's playing the "Jew card"...again.
  • "Israel should deal with this discrimination against Americans on its own merits... not simply as a bargaining chip for easy entry to the U.S." Do you agree?
  • For Moroccan Jews, the end of Passover means Mimouna. Terbhou ou Tse'dou! (good luck) How do you celebrate?
  • Calling all Marx Brothers fans!
  • What's it like to run the Palestine International Marathon as a Jew?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.