No Vacancy by Tziporah Cohen

NO VACANCY (Groundwood Books, 2020), a middle grade novel by Tziporah Cohen, takes us through a budding friendship, a seemingly innocent ruse that fools a community, and an emotional journey that leads to a young girl’s realization of people’s differences and her first real connection to her Jewish identity. Miriam’s family moves from Manhattan toContinue reading “No Vacancy by Tziporah Cohen”

Miriam at the River by Jane Yolen and Khoa Le

Jane Yolen, who notably published her 400th book this month, earned Sydney Taylor accolades for one more in 2021: MIRIAM AT THE RIVER, illustrated by Khoa Le. In this picture book, Yolen tells the earliest part of the Passover story from Miriam’s point of view, in first person. The protagonist expresses her thoughts, hopes, andContinue reading “Miriam at the River by Jane Yolen and Khoa Le”

The Polio Pioneer – Dr. Jonas Salk and the Polio Vaccine

This biographical narrative of Dr. Jonas Salk, written by Linda Elovitz Marshall and illustrated by Lisa Anchin, was a delight to get on my doorstep; even after I ordered it, several colleagues recommended it as a must-read. The story of THE POLIO PIONEER is approachable and engaging, letting kids see themselves in the character ofContinue reading “The Polio Pioneer – Dr. Jonas Salk and the Polio Vaccine”

Anya and the Nightingale, by Sofiya Pasternack

Wondering how Jewish a middle grade fantasy book could possibly be, I turned to page one of Anya and the Nightingale. The first line read, “Anya’s sukkah was suspiciously lopsided,” referring to the temporary hut many Jews build for the fall holiday of Sukkot. Okay then! Jewish it is. (Turns out that Anya’s goat isContinue reading “Anya and the Nightingale, by Sofiya Pasternack”

Make a Custom Haggadah Online

Passover is coming soon! Are you ready?? This resource lets you customize a haggadah that’s just right for your family traditions. I went on there hoping to capture the conservative familiarity of our good old Maxwell House haggadah but make it easier to navigate now that our family has grown so large. I could playContinue reading “Make a Custom Haggadah Online”

Bedtime Stories for Young Brains

So reading picture books with young children may mean that they hear more words, while at the same time, their brains practice creating the images associated with those words ā€” and with the more complex sentences and rhymes that make up even simple stories

Carrots, Parrots, and the Merits of Garden Reading

What happens when you mix reading, plants and animals? Magic. Really. These three ingredients, when stirredĀ in a cauldron with care, prove to be the key to a fun and intriguing learning environment. Acting as children’s activity librarian at Churchill’s Garden Center has let me play with this idea, integrating the beautiful grounds into toddler storyContinue reading “Carrots, Parrots, and the Merits of Garden Reading”

Toddler story time in the Garden!

Garden story time is coming and we’re starting off the series by reading alongsideĀ Oliver the parrot in the beautiful tropical greenhouse! Join us April 9th and every other Thursday by registering hereĀ – free event! I am very excited to be starting this new adventure with the kids of Exeter! Can’t wait to see you allContinue reading “Toddler story time in the Garden!”

Does Your Librarian say “Don’t read to Children?”

Rabbi David, today, helped me sort through a mountain of books donated to the library. Lots of treasures, including a set of Torah texts from 1891, an American soldier’s prayerbook, and a gilded set of works by Elie Wiesel. What made my day, though, above all else, was the note on the first page ofContinue reading “Does Your Librarian say “Don’t read to Children?””