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Children's Books

Abuelita's Secret Matzahs

Sandy Eisenberg Sasso

Abuelita tells Jacob that "long ago" his Jewish family escaped the Spanish Inquisition, and fearing persecution in America, they kept their Jewish identity secret, choosing to pass on their family history to just one person in each generation--as Abuelita is doing to Jacob.


Afikomen Mambo

Joe Black (Author) & Linda Prater (Illustrator)

There's something about Passover that makes it a perfect holiday for small children. So, you can imagine my excitement when I saw a cute illustrated book about kids looking for the afikomen set to a catchy tune.


Always an Olivia: A Remarkable Family History

Carolivia Herron

A Jewish woman named Sarah comes to America from Italy. Sarah is kidnapped by pirates, and she and a young man, also kidnapped, eventually find themselves in the Georgia Sea Islands in 1805. They marry and live among the Geechee people, who come from West Africa. Although they no longer live as Jews, in each generation that follows, a daughter lights the Shabbat candles each Friday night as a remembrance. It's a lovely story that celebrates a family's unusual history.


Around the World in One Shabbat

Durga Yael Bernhard

Take your child on a colorful adventure to share the many ways Jewish people celebrate Shabbat around the world. Shabbat Shalom!




As Good as Anybody: Martin Luther King and Abraham Joshua Heschel's Amazing March Toward Freedom

Richard Michelson and Raul Colon (Illustrator)

Michelson (Tuttle's Red Barn) deftly draws comparisons between Martin Luther King Jr. and the German-born rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel as he describes what led them to walk together in the famous 1965 civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala.


Daughters of the Ark

Anna Morgan

In 939 B.C.E. a daring girl and her priestly Jewish family journey from Jerusalem to Ethiopia in the company of the son of Solomon and Sheba. It is rumored that they may be transporting the Ark of the Covenant; the most important symbol of their faith.



Day of Delight: A Jewish Sabbath in Ethiopia

Maxine Rose Schur and Brian Pinkney

Fascinating in its detail about one ethnic/religious group in Africa, this story also tells about one of the many ways in which Jews have traditionally lived. The book is visually appealing, with scratchboard illustrations that convey the beauty of the green and brown Ethiopian highlands and the Amharic-speaking people who live there.


Enduring Ark

Joydeb Chitrakar and Gita Wolf

Fascinating in its detail about one ethnic/religious group in Africa, this story also tells about one of the many ways in which Jews have traditionally lived. The book is visually appealing, with scratchboard illustrations that convey the beauty of the green and brown Ethiopian highlands and the Amharic-speaking people who live there.


Hanukkah Moon

Deborah Da Costa and Gosia Mosz (Illustrator)

Have you ever heard of a Hanukkah Moon? You probably have heard of Hanukkah, but are you aware that there is a moon by the same name? Well, of course, the moon is just a plain moon. But what makes it special is that it comes at the same time as Hanukkah.


I Love Jewish Faces

Debra Darvick

In ninety-four words and thirty-plus photos, I Love Jewish Faces turns the image of the Yiddishe punim (Jewish face) on its head. Debra Darvick's delightful picture book mirrors today's emerging Jewish reality: a Jewish face is dark-haired and dark-eyed and blonde and blue-eyed.



In God's Name

Sandy Eisenberg Sasso

In this modern fable written by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso and illustrated by Phoebe Stone, the various peoples of the world come up with their own names for God, which they are each convinced is the correct one.




Jalapeno Bagels

Natasha Wing, Robert Casilla (Illustrator)

A delightful, albeit contrived, story of a happy, hard-working family. When Pablo must bring something to share for his school's International Day, he considers several items from his family's bakery.




Jews of the Wild West: A Multicultural True Story

Kay Miller

Teenage Jews, members of the Staab and Ilfeld families, left Germany in the mid 1800s and settled in the Wild West, an adventure which led to: Julia Staab’s scary encounter with Billy the Kid, Hebrew written in stone above a cathedral entrance, Ludwig Ilfeld landed a role in the movie, The Rattlesnake and more!



Kids Like Me in China

Ying Ying Fry and Amy Klatzkin

In this first view of China adoption from a child's perspective, eight-year-old Ying Ying Fry returns to her orphanage to remember what it is like and to write a story so that other adopted children will understand where they came from.



King Solomon & the Queen of Sheba

Blu Greenberg, Linda Tarry, and Avi Katz (Illustrator)

This version of the story has exciting original material. Afresh new tales and riddles, an equal relationship, and a naturally multicultural, as well as slightly feminist, bias.




Let's Talk About Race

Julius Lester and Karen Barbour (Illustrator)

This stunning picture book introduces race as just one of many chapters in a person's story. Beginning with the line, "I am a story," Lester tells his own story with details that kids will enjoy, like his favorite food, hobbies, and time of day.



My Name Is Rachamim

Jonathan Kendall and Alemu Eshetie (Illustrator)

When famine ravages the Gondar region of Ethiopia, Rachamim and his family journey to Israel via Operation Moses, the secret airlift that brought thousands of Ethiopian Jews home to Israel.



Nappy Hair

Carolivia Herron

The title leaves no doubt about the focus of this picture book. At a family picnic, everyone pokes fun at the youngest girl's nappy hair. Devised as a call-and-response dialogue, the interchanges offer explanations and comments on why Brenda's hair is the nappiest, the curliest, the twistiest hair in the family.


On the Wings of Eagles: An Ethiopian Child's Story

Jeffrey Schrier

A group of Israeli campers gather around Isaiah, an Ethiopian Jewish boy, as he tells poignant tales of his homeland, interspersed with melodies from his bamboo flute.



Rebecca's Journey Home

Brynn Olenberg Sugarman and Michelle Shapiro (Illustrator)

Jacob and Gabe, ages eight and four, prepare for their mother's trip to Vietnam to bring home their new baby sister. The author is successful in explaining both the intricacies of adoption procedures as well as details of life in an observant Jewish home.


The Power of Song: And Other Sephardic Tales

Rita Roth and Alexa Ginsburg (Illustrator)

From Hanina, the daughter of a Jewish tailor who cures a sultan's only child by taming a lioness to get her milk, to Nahum Bilbas, the brave rabbi-in-training who dares to confront the great warrior El Cid in order to secure peace for the Jews of Valencia, the folktales in this delightful little collection contain lessons, truths, surprises, and happy endings.


The Rabbi's Cat

Joann Sfar

The nameless, scraggly-looking alley cat who narrates the story belongs to an Algerian rabbi in the '30s. When the cat eats a parrot, he gains the power of speech and tries to convince his master to teach him the Torah, raising the question of whether the appropriate age for his bar mitzvah should be in human years or cat years.


The Rabbi's Cat 2

Joann Sfar

One good volume deserves another, as the Parisian Sfar extends the adventures of a rabbi, his daughter and their unnamed cat, who discovered the ability to speak (not always truthfully) after swallowing his master’s parrot.


The Return

Sonia Levitin

Levitin's book is a glorious, heartrending account of Operation Moses, the airlift of Ethiopian Jews from the Sudan into Israel, as seen through the eyes of Desta, 12.






The Secret Shofar of Barcelona

Jacqueline Dembar Greene and Doug Chayka (Illustrator)

Don Fernando is a converso, a Jew who practices his religion secretly during the time of the Inquisition. He is also a respected composer, and he writes a symphony to celebrate Spain's colonies in the New World using Native American instruments.



The Snowy Day

Ezra Jack Keats

Published in 1962, at the height of the civil rights movement in America, Snowy Day went on to become an inspiration for generations of readers, transforming children’s literature forever.


The Story of Queen Esther

Jenny Koralek and Grizelda Holderness (Illustrator)

Authors Koralek and Holderness play a little fast and loose with the details of the book of Esther. While the result is more fairy tale than kosher for Purim, Koralek's telling is admirably brisk and dramatic, and she keeps sight of the core message: that Esther's faith and sense of responsibility give her the courage to do the right thing.


The Wisdom Bird: A Tale of Solomon and Sheba

Sheldon Oberman and Neil Waldman (Illustrator)

Oberman draws on biblical and traditional Jewish and African tales for this clever and affecting story. When the Queen of Sheba hears that King Solomon is the wisest of all men, she journeys with her entourage to Jerusalem to meet him.




What Makes Someone a Jew?

Lauren Seidman

Is being Jewish a matter of how you look, or how you live? Using everyday examples that children can relate to, this colorful book helps all young Jewish readers understand what it really means to be a Jew.



When I Left My Village

Maxine Rose Schur and Brian Pinkney (Illustrator)

In their trenchant sequel to the acclaimed Day of Delight, Schur and Pinkney recount the perilous journey of 12-year-old Menelik and his family as they brave overwhelming odds to make their way from Ethiopia to Israel.



Yuvi's Candy Tree

Lesley Simpson and Janice Lee Porter (Illustrator)

Yuvi is five years old when she sneaks out of Ethiopia in the dark on a donkey. She fools robbers and makes it to a Sudanese refugee camp with her grandmother where they are later airlifted to Israel. Based on the true story of Ethiopian Israeli Yuvi Tashome.





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