A family-oriented yet scholarly anthology of Yiddish literature.

HONEY ON THE PAGE

A TREASURY OF YIDDISH CHILDREN'S LITERATURE

Yiddish literature for children has had a rich history and has been written all over the world.

An extensive collection of Yiddish literary texts for children translated into English, this anthology contains works from familiar as well as not so widely known Yiddish language writers. Arranged by theme, 46 works are presented along with biographical information about their authors as well as the occasional illustration. While the book’s substantial introduction proclaims that the tome is meant for intergenerational sharing rather than for young people to read independently, the small typeset and sporadic art make this book most ideal for scholarly readers, storytellers, and perhaps the occasional read-aloud with young listeners. Some of the themes included are Jewish holidays, Jewish history, fairy tales and fables, school stories, and family stories, among others. Some pieces are religious in nature while others are more cultural. Readers may recognize several of these stories, including the timely and iconic war and peace tale “A Boy and His Samovar” by Jacob Reisfeder. Other stories, like “What Izzy Knows About Lag Ba’Omer” by Malka Szechet, a simple, informative tale about the minor—yet fun—holiday of Lag Ba’Omer, might be new to readers. This collection, with its comprehensive and valuable set of stories and poetry, would make a great addition to academic libraries in particular.

A family-oriented yet scholarly anthology of Yiddish literature. (illustration credits, original sources) (Anthology. 10-adult)

Pub Date: Oct. 6, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4798-7413-2

Page Count: 352

Publisher: New York Univ.

Review Posted Online: July 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2020

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An uplifting, rhyming picture book offering food for the soul.

A SPOONFUL OF FAITH

A mother teaches her daughter a special recipe to help feed her faith.

Layla, a young, brown-skinned girl, is ready yet nervous for her first day of school. Seeking a confidence boost, she goes in search of her mom—“’Cause mamas can help / when you need love and calm”—and finds her in the kitchen. “Hey, sweetie, sit here / Let’s make a quick meal / that’s full of good things / to help how you feel,” her mother suggests and fishes out a recipe book. The recipe for the meal includes many ingredients, but none of them are tangible. Instead, courage, “a spoonful of faith,” “dashes of kindness,” “handfuls of hope,” “pinches of prayers,” and warm hugs go into the mixing bowl. To concretize these virtues, the artwork uses a visual motif of hearts and flowers. Once the meal is ready, Layla hesitantly looks into the bowl, unsure what to make of the imaginary repast, but a word of wisdom from Mama helps her realize the true source of her emotional sustenance and strength. The illustrations, created using digital watercolor, pencil, and gouache brushes in Procreate, are soothing, with soft pastel colors. While God is mentioned, there are no references to any specific religion.

An uplifting, rhyming picture book offering food for the soul. (author's note) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 15, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-06-301781-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Dec. 3, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2021

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A dizzying, intimate romance.

TODAY TONIGHT TOMORROW

Rowan teams up with her academic nemesis to win a citywide scavenger hunt.

Rowan Roth and Neil McNair have been rivals in a never-ending game of one-upmanship since freshman year. Now, on the last day of senior year, Rowan hopes to best Neil once and for all as valedictorian, then win Howl, a scavenger hunt with a $5,000 cash prize. She also hopes to sneak away to her favorite romance author’s book signing; no one’s ever respected her passion for the genre, not even her children’s book author/illustrator parents. But Rowan’s named salutatorian, and vengeful classmates plot to end her and Neil’s reign. At first their partnership is purely strategic, but as the pair traverse the city, they begin to open up. Rowan learns that Neil is Jewish too and can relate to both significant cultural touchstones and experiences of casual anti-Semitism. As much as Rowan tries to deny it, real feelings begin to bloom. Set against a lovingly evoked Seattle backdrop, Rowan and Neil’s relationship develops in an absorbing slow burn, with clever banter and the delicious tension of first love. Issues of class, anti-Semitism, and sex are discussed frankly. Readers will emerge just as obsessed with this love story as Rowan is with her beloved romance novels. Rowan’s mother is Russian Jewish and Mexican, and her father is American Jewish and presumably White; most other characters are White.

A dizzying, intimate romance. (author’s note) (Romance. 13-18)

Pub Date: July 28, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5344-4024-1

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2020

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