Our monthly recommendations from local Jewish educator Liza Wiemer:
‘Not So Fast, Max: A Rosh Hashanah Visit With Grandma’
By Annette Schottenfeld, illustrated by Jennifer Kirkham, publisher Kalaniot Books.
When Safta comes to visit Max and Emily for the Jewish holidays, she knows just what to do to make their time together special, fun, and meaningful. The simple but touching prose coupled with bright, lively illustrations draw readers in. This picture book is the perfect segue to talk about your own traditions. Recipes are included and are a great way to engage children.
‘Happy ‘Roo Year: It’s Rosh Hashana’
By Jessica Hickman,illustrated by Elissambura, publisher Kat-Ben Publishing
Celebrate the New Year in the Australian outback with some kangaroos. This is a clever, upbeat way to introduce preschoolers to the holiday. The story touches upon the important traditions, which are reinforced with delightful illustrations.
“Soosie, The Horse That Saved Shabbat”
By Tami Lehman-Wilzig, illustrated by Menahem Halberstadt, publisher Kalaniot Books
This is a beautifully written and illustrated story about a bright horse named Soosie. He travels the streets of Jerusalem alone to deliver challahs before Friday after Jacob, who usually guides Soosie on the route, becomes ill. Deliveries are made and Soosie saves Shabbat.
“Talia and the Very Yum Kippur” by Linda Elovitz Marshall, illustrated by Francesca Assirelli, publisher Kar-Ben Publishing. This book explains fasting beautifully!
“Five Alive! My Yom Tov Five Senses” by Dina Rosenfeld, illustrated by Tova Leff, publisher Hachai Publishing. This is a wonderful book that highlights all the senses for the holidays.
“The Sukkah That I Built” by Rochel Groner Vorst, illustrated by Elizabeth Victor Elsby, publisher Hachai Publishing. This is a winner of a Sydney Taylor Notable Book Award. It shows kids a full sukkah experience.
“The Patchwork Torah” by Allison Ofanansky, illustrated by Elsa Oriol, published by Kar-Ben Publishing. This is a gorgeous Jewish National Book Award winner embracing multi-generations of sofers for Simchat Torah.
Educator and author Liza Wiemer, of Fox Point, has taught in nine of our Milwaukee Jewish religious schools and day schools. Her latest novel, “The Assignment,” is appropriate for ages 12 and up.