Irving Berlin: The Immigrant Boy Who Made America Sing

God Bless America. White Christmas. The Easter Parade. Anything You Can Do (I Can Do Better). Alexander's Ragtime Band. What do all of these songs have in common? Irving Berlin, a Jewish immigrant who came to America in 1893 to escape religious persecution and wound up writing songs that are embedded into our national fiber. … Continue reading Irving Berlin: The Immigrant Boy Who Made America Sing

Passover Picture Books 2018

Most people are getting ready for Easter, but in my house we are getting ready for Passover. Passover has always been my favorite holiday and it is one about sharing the story. I have written about books for Passover a few times, but I wanted to present a few additional books this year. Whatever holiday … Continue reading Passover Picture Books 2018

Hanukkah Book Roundup 2017

Every year as the winter holidays roll around I'm always on the lookout for new Hanukkah books. We of course have our long-time favorites, but finding new books is always a great adventure. Since Hanukkah begins tonight at sundown, I wanted to finally get my collection up. While not a new book, Stephanie Spinner's It's … Continue reading Hanukkah Book Roundup 2017

Sukkot – the Fall Harvest Festival

Every fall, Jews around the world come together to celebrate Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, also known as the High Holidays. Five days after Yom Kippur is over, another holiday starts again, this time, it is the wonderful holiday of Sukkot. Sukkot celebrates the fall harvest and the exodus from Egypt. Many families build their … Continue reading Sukkot – the Fall Harvest Festival

Folktales with Lessons for Life

Folktales are such a wonderful part of children's literature. There are so many tales that have been passed down through the generations and we have learned so many valuable lessons from them. One of the things that I find especially fascinating is reading folktales from a wide variety of cultures to see how similar situations … Continue reading Folktales with Lessons for Life

Picture Books about the Holocaust

At the end of April, Jews across the world will take a special moment to pause and reflect about the Holocaust on Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. Passover, another Jewish holiday that started Monday night, is also a time where we often focus on commemorating and retelling the tragedy of the Holocaust and the amazing … Continue reading Picture Books about the Holocaust

Welcoming the Immigrant

A few weeks ago, my family visited New York and took a trip out to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. It is such an awe inspiring place and I wanted my girls to understand the importance of the immigrant in American society. I'm not sure exactly when they really start getting in to … Continue reading Welcoming the Immigrant

Serving Up Soup from a Stone

Over the years, many have told the story of Stone Soup in which hungry strangers trick a town into feeding them by making soup from a stone. As with many folk tales, the story changes with each retelling, but the backbone stays the same. A hungry stranger, or two, enters a town. When the locals … Continue reading Serving Up Soup from a Stone

Counting our Hanukkah Blessings

Every year we look forward to taking out our Hanukkah decorations and big box of books. As with any other subject, picture books are one of the best ways to learn about a holiday, so grow, and to share that knowledge with others. Each year I not only read Hanukkah books with my girls, but … Continue reading Counting our Hanukkah Blessings

The Many Faces of Cinderella

The story of Cinderella, at its heart, is the story of kindness overcoming vanity and cruelty. There are many ways to tell this story, but the message always comes back to the fact that the Cinderella character takes care of those around her, big and small, while her cruel step-sisters only think of themselves and … Continue reading The Many Faces of Cinderella