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The Book of Life: Jewish Kidlit (Mostly)

Arts & Culture Podcasts

The Book of Life is an interview-format podcast about Jewish kidlit, mostly, with occasional coverage of Jewish YA/adult books, music, film and web, established in December 2005. Host: Heidi Rabinowitz Sponsor: Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel of Boca Raton, Florida

The Book of Life is an interview-format podcast about Jewish kidlit, mostly, with occasional coverage of Jewish YA/adult books, music, film and web, established in December 2005. Host: Heidi Rabinowitz Sponsor: Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel of Boca Raton, Florida

Location:

United States

Description:

The Book of Life is an interview-format podcast about Jewish kidlit, mostly, with occasional coverage of Jewish YA/adult books, music, film and web, established in December 2005. Host: Heidi Rabinowitz Sponsor: Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel of Boca Raton, Florida

Language:

English

Contact:

561-206-2473


Episodes

The New Queer Conscience

6/13/2021
June is Pride Month, so I'm pleased to bring you The New Queer Conscience, a 2021 Sydney Taylor Notable Book in the Young Adult category. It's a manifesto by young activist Adam Eli, that holds up k'lal yisrael, or Jewish solidarity, as a model for the queer community to emulate. For queer kidlit with identifiably Jewish characters, see the Diverse Jewish Kidlit section of The Book of Life. Look for the tag LGBT. You'll find about 30 titles. If you know of any books I've missed, please...

Duration:00:27:10

Not Your All-American Girl

5/9/2021
READ THE TRANSCRIPT | BUY THE BOOK May is Jewish American Heritage Month and Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month. We celebrate both on The Book of Life by talking to Madelyn Rosenberg and Wendy Wan-Long Shang, co-authors of This Is Just a Test and Not Your All-American Girl, a pair of middle grade novels set in the 1980's that feature a Jewish Chinese American family. I also want to take this opportunity to welcome new Patreon patron Erica Lyons, a listener who lives in Hong Kong and...

Duration:00:39:50

Through the Window: Brave with Beauty

4/18/2021
READ THE TRANSCRIPT | BUY THE BOOK 🕮 Ambika Sambasivan is the publisher at Yali Books, which opens a window to South Asia –India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, and the Maldives —and invites the rest of the world to learn more about the incredible diversity of this region. Maxine Rose Schur is the author of Brave with Beauty, a picture book biography of the the 15th century Queen Goharshad of Afghanistan, published by Yali Books. She's also the author of...

Duration:00:24:37

Vaccines Then & Now: The Polio Pioneer

3/18/2021
Linda Elovitz Marshall was excited to get her COVID-19 shot, and back in the day she was glad to be vaccinated for polio too. That gratitude led her to create the picture book biography The Polio Pioneer: Dr. Jonas Salk and the Polio Vaccine illustrated by Lisa Anchin, a 2020 Sydney Taylor Notable Book. LEARN MORE: Linda Elovitz Marshall's website Buy The Polio Pioneer at Bookshop.org The Salk Institute "Race and the Politics of Polio" Ritualwell Central Reform Congregation CDC information...

Duration:00:29:41

The Passover Guest

3/7/2021
My good friend Susan Kusel has been on the podcast before, to talk about The Sydney Taylor Shmooze, and to announce the Sydney Taylor Book Award winners in 2018 and 2019. She also appeared in Beyond the Holocaust and Holidays, a 2019 episode about the Highlights Foundation's writing symposium, and in the 2020 episode The Mitzvah of Voting: Part 1. This time she's here along with illustrator Sean Rubin to talk about their debut picture book, The Passover Guest, an AJL Holiday Highlights...

Duration:00:54:10

Little Jews of Color in Ezra's Big Shabbat Question

2/16/2021
Aviva Brown is the author of Ezra's BIG Shabbat Question and Not Now, Mara! These picture books portray Jewish children of color without making a big deal about it, something we don't see often enough in kidlit. Listen to Aviva as she talks about her inspiration, about self publishing, and about winning Mother of the Year Award for the state of North Carolina. LEARN MORE: Aviva Brown's website Mother of the Year Award CREDITS: Feldman Children's Library Congregation B'nai Israel The...

Duration:00:32:50

The 2021 Sydney Taylor Book Awards

1/25/2021
Rebecca Levitan is the chair of the Sydney Taylor Book Award committee of the Association of Jewish Libraries. She joined us to discuss the 2021 winners of the award, which annually recognizes the best Jewish literature for children and teens. AJL is an affiliate of the American Library Association, so the Sydney Taylor Book Awards are announced at ALA's Youth Media Awards press conference, being held virtually this year on January 25, 2021. You can watch a recording of the announcement on...

Duration:00:36:27

The Mock Award Bloggers Speak!

1/2/2021
The Sydney Taylor Shmooze is a mock book award blog that reviews Jewish children's and teen literature and invites readers to vote for the titles that they think will win the Sydney Taylor Book Award. In the last episode of The Book of Life, I spoke with my fellow admins of The Shmooze, Susan Kusel and Chava Pinchuck, about the whys and hows of this project. We also heard some good advice from the folks at other mock award blogs: Calling Caldecott, Heavy Medal, and Guessing Geisel, but we...

Duration:00:17:35

The Sydney Taylor Shmooze

1/2/2021
The Sydney Taylor Shmooze is a mock award blog created in Spring 2020 by Susan Kusel, Chava Pinchuck, and me, in order to encourage discussion of Jewish children's and teen literature eligible for the Sydney Taylor Book Award. In this podcast episode, Susan and Chava join me to talk about how it's going and about how YOU can vote for the mock awards. We also get some advice from other mock award bloggers from Calling Caldecott, Guessing Geisel, and Heavy Medal. The Sydney Taylor Shmooze...

Duration:00:22:27

The Puppy Test

12/17/2020
In December 2020, the world received a wondrous Hanukkah gift: Daveed Diggs’ “Puppy for Hanukkah” video. I see Puppy for Hanukkah as an excellent model for creating terrific Jewish children’s literature! Read full essay at https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2020/12/the-puppy-test.html

Duration:00:15:42

City of Light

12/5/2020
Theodor Bikel, of blessed memory, was an Austrian-American actor, folk singer, musician, composer, unionist and political activist. Journalist Aimee Ginsburg Bikel is the wife of the late Theodore Bikel, and she brought to life Theo's story, City of Light.

Duration:00:58:45

Anya's Dragons and Nightingales

11/8/2020
Anya and the Dragon is Sofiya Pasternak's debut, a middle grade Jewish historical fantasy novel. It was recognized by a 2020 Sydney Taylor Honor Award. It will be joined on November 10, 2020 by a sequel, Anya and the Nightingale. Join me for a fascinating conversation with Sofiya about the history behind the fantasy. See full show notes at https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2020/11/anya-and-dragon.html

Duration:00:29:00

The Mitzvah of Voting, Part 3

10/13/2020
Welcome to the third and final entry in our series, The Mitzvah of Voting. It's October 2020 your favorite Jewish kidlit authors want all eligible US citizens to vote in the upcoming Presidential election, and listeners around the world to vote in their own local elections. My author guests will be sharing why they vote and they'll give you some recommendations for ways to keep democracy healthy. This time, we will leave you with some musical inspiration to carry you through Election...

Duration:00:15:52

The Mitzvah of Voting, Part 2

10/13/2020
Welcome to Part 2 of our 3 part series, The Mitzvah of Voting. It's October 2020 your favorite Jewish kidlit authors want all eligible US citizens to vote in the upcoming Presidential election, and listeners around the world to vote in their own local elections! My author guests will be sharing why they vote and they'll give you some recommendations for ways to keep democracy healthy. Guest authors include: Elissa Brent Weissman The Length of a String Lee Wind Queer as a $5 Bill No Way,...

Duration:00:07:57

The Mitzvah of Voting, Part 1

10/13/2020
This episode is a call to action for U.S. citizens eligible to vote, and a reminder to listeners everywhere that voting is your superpower. If you are a U.S. citizen eligible to vote in the upcoming presidential election, please do so! For information about how to vote, visit VOTE.ORG. In this special 3-part series, some of your favorite Jewish kidlit authors will be sharing why they vote and they'll give some recommendations for ways to keep our democracy healthy. In each episode of The...

Duration:00:11:31

Pond Life

10/11/2020
For this "Pond Life" episode, I paired the books Turtle Boy with Fish Out of Water, to highlight the similar themes I saw in both middle grade bar mitzvah novels. Wonderfully, authors Joanne Levy and Evan Wolkenstein really hit it off and they actually helped to interview each other! For complete show notes, please visit https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2020/10/pond-life-fish-out-of-water-turtle-boy.html

Duration:01:08:19

Honey on the Page

10/2/2020
Honey on the Page: A Treasury of Yiddish Children's Literature, edited and translated by Miriam Udel, comes out from NYU Press on October 6, 2020. We didn't have the chance to do an audio interview but I did want you to know about this worthy book, so I interviewed Miriam by email. I hope you will enjoy reading all about Honey on the Page at https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2020/10/honey-on-page.html.

Duration:00:01:18

A Place at the Table

9/6/2020
Muslim author Saadia Faruqui and Jewish author Laura Shovan joined me to talk about their jointly written middle grade contemporary novel, A Place at the Table. This is a book about immigration, about friendship, and it will make you hungry. Full show notes at: https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2020/09/a-place-at-table.html

Duration:01:17:48

Video Episode: Artist Patricia Portillo

8/25/2020
Multi-talented mensch Patricia Portillo is an artist who works with fiber, clay, and other materials. She is also a voice artist and professional opera singer, and she dabbles in the culinary arts. She rendered The Book of Life's dancing man logo as a crocheted doll so we are interviewing her to learn more about her crafting abilities. Today's episode is available as a video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJrTjZeQFNY&feature=youtu.be Find all Show Notes at ...

Duration:00:34:21

No Vacancy

8/9/2020
No Vacancy is Tziporah Cohen's debut middle grade novel. It's a story of friendship across boundaries, the importance of community as a bulwark against prejudice... and a Virgin Mary sighting. Full show notes at https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2020/08/no-vacancy.html

Duration:00:26:44