Liza Wiemer’s monthly recommendation: Illustrations of India by Siona Benjamin | Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle

Liza Wiemer’s monthly recommendation: Illustrations of India by Siona Benjamin

The Blue Butterfly of Cochin, by Ariana Mizrahi, illustrated by Siona Benjamin, published by Kalaniot Books 

In this important and touching picture book, Mizrahi shares the history of Jews from Cochin, India, highlighting their magnificent ancient synagogue and the Jewish community’s traditions. As the Cochin Jews get ready to move to the land of Israel, a magical blue butterfly reminds a girl named Leah that even though we may need to leave things behind, we carry our stories and must pass them on to others. Readers will learn much from the backmatter. The stunning illustrations were done by artist Siona Benjamin, whose work was featured at the Milwaukee Jewish Museum in fall 2022. Perfect for all ages. 

Sophie’s Monster Goes to Shul, by Sandy Asher, illustrated by Alexandra Colombo, published by Kar-Ben Publishing 

This creative picture book connects the joy of Sunday School with Sophie’s wild imagination. Her imaginary monster doesn’t want to be left behind when she goes to shul, so he joins her. They sing prayers, learn Israeli dances, and listen to a story. Each step of the way, the monster has a job, going from Sophie’s mind to the pages of a story she writes at Sunday School. Wonderful text and bright, fun illustrations will delight preschoolers to early readers. 

Educator and author Liza Wiemer, of Fox Point, has taught in nine of our Milwaukee-area Jewish religious schools and day schools. Her latest novel, “The Assignment,” is appropriate for ages 12 and up.