Dec 12, 2012

Mythical Ziz Comes to Life


Are you a fan of Jacqueline Jules' Ziz books? The mythical Ziz comes to life in a new play premiering in early 2013:

Quest of the ZIZ Bird
January 26 & 27, February 2 & 3

A NEW PLAY! Written by Pumpkin Theatre Producing Artistic Director, Jimi Kinstle with music by Ryan Michael Haase and based on the children’s book The Hardest Word, by Jacqueline Jules, The ZIZ is a giant mythological bird (ours will be a puppet!) that one day accidently destroys the community garden of the children. A misfit himself, how will the Ziz make things better and find a way to ‘fit in’?
Learn more about the Pumpkin Theatre.

Browse the Ziz series of books!

Nov 28, 2012

4 Kids' Hanukkah Gifts Under $10

4. 8 Books for 8 Bucks for 8 Nights of Hanukkah
Give a book each night or give one to eight of your favorite young readers!
For $8, get an assortment of Kar-Ben's award winning books to enjoy each night during Hanukkah.  The set includes one paperback copy of each of these Hanukkah books:
Ziz and Hanukkah Miracle
Hanukkah Around the World
Harvest of Light
Jodie's Hanukkah Dig
Lots of Latkes
Menorah Under the Sea
Nathan Blows Out the Hanukkah Candles
It’s Hanukkah Time
Note: This deal no longer available.  
3. Sammy Spider Plush Toy
At $9.95, this is a great gift for any fan of Sammy Spider to bring imagination to life and create his or her own Sammy adventures! An adorable stuffed Sammy Spider toy with a pouch on his tummy so he can be used as a puppet! Colorful velveteen fabric, bean-bag type stuffing, jointed legs, 5-inch diameter body. U.S. safety-inspected.

2. Thank You, God!: A Child's Book of Prayers
A first prayer book for young children, with 21 traditional prayers in simple Hebrew, transliteration, and English. Contains blessings for a new day, bounty of our food, Sabbath, and holiday rituals. A beautiful book to inspire a lifetime of love for Judaism. $7.95

Give the gift of movement, language and fun! Learn the Hebrew alphabet through yoga! Using traditional and modified yoga poses, kids can create the letters and also benefit from the stretching and strengthening offered by each pose. $7.95

Nov 20, 2012

Hanukkah Gift Ideas

As a former teacher, aunt and gift giver, I think presents for children should do more than entertain. I like gifting something educational—often books—along with something that provides an experience that has the potential to inspire a lifelong interest.

Here are some ideas for giving this Hanukkah:

The Shabbat Princess
Rosie likes queens, but she really loves princesses! One Shabbat eve, she persuades her parents to invite the Shabbat Princess to their home. As the family prepares for their royal visitor, they are reminded that adding beauty to a mitzvah only increases its worth.

Give the book along with some cheerful, kid-friendly Shabbat candlesticks or crafting supplies to make candlesticks and inspire a life-long awareness of hiddur mitzvah!

Jodie’s Hanukkah Dig
When Jodie begs her dad to take her on an archaeological dig, he agrees to take her to Modi’in, the ancient home of the Maccabees. And when she volunteers to explore an underground cave, she learns that she and the Maccabees, the heroes of the Hanukkah story, have something in common.

Develop a sense of curiosity and adventure with the gift of a children’s metal detector along with a copy of the book, and if you can, spend time together treasure hunting in the backyard.

The olive harvest in Israel is a special time. See how the tiny spring flowers blossom into green fruit, then ripen into shiny black olives. Watch the olives as they’re gathered, sorted, and pressed into oil. Then celebrate Hanukkah with an Israeli family, as they use the oil to light their Hanukkah menorah. Come and enjoy the harvest of light.

A fun gift for a family, share this book and a few special bottles of olive oil, and maybe a beautiful loaf of bread for dipping. Inspire Ahavat Yisrael with this book from Kar-Ben’s Nature in Israel series.

Browse all of Kar-Ben's books.

Nov 19, 2012

Recipe: Make Your Own Chocolate Hanukkah Gelt

Make your own gelt this year for Hanukkah with this kid-friendly recipe from the new cookbook Maccabee Meals. With eight different menus for creative Hanukkah parties, order your copy in time for Hanukkah.

Nov 1, 2012

Treats for Hanukkah with Maccabee Meals

It is already November, and Hanukkah is just around the corner. The first candle is on December 8 this year (next year Hanukkah begins on Thanksgiving!). People are already in Hanukkah event and party planning mode, if the number of repins on our Pinterest are any indication! 

Looking for new ideas this year? Check out Kar-Ben’s cookbook Maccabee Meals, which features over 30 recipes and many explanations that are sure to add a kick to your celebrations. Learn how to make all sorts of latkes, cookies, salads, and sides. Try this recipe from Maccabee Meals for your next Hanukkah Celebration! This is a great project for kids!

Alef-Bet Pretzels

1 pkg. dry yeast
1 c. warm water
3 c. flour
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 egg, beaten with 1 Tbsp. water
Kosher salt
Margarine or oil spray

1. In a bowl, dissolve yeast in water.
2. Add flour, sugar, and salt and work into a dough.
3. Cover with a towel and let rise 1 hour.
4. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
5. Grease cookie sheet.
6. Divide dough into pieces the size of a golf ball. Dust hands with flour. Roll dough into sausages and shape into the letters on the dreidel.
7. Place on cookie sheet, brush with egg mixture, and sprinkle with salt.
8. Bake for 25 minutes or until brown.

Enjoy Maccabee Meals during the festival of lights and B’Tayavon (Bon appetite)!

Win a copy by posting your favorite Hanukkah treat in the comments here or at our Facebook page. A winner will be selected at random.

Oct 18, 2012

Q&A with "Jumping Jenny" Author Ellen Bari

Get to know Ellen Bari, author of the recent Kar-Ben book Jumping Jenny, a playful and pointed story about the ways in which individualism can lead to global change.

In addition to penning books for Kar-Ben, Bari has worked with PBS, Sesame Workshop, and the US Holocaust Memorial Museum to create award-winning multimedia programs and exhibitions. She is also the co-founder of Momasphere, a New York based organization dedicated to creating original programs and events for moms. A former student of miming and clowning in London, Ellen has plenty of stories to share! To learn more about her projects and features, visit

Kar-Ben: What was your favorite book when you were a child?  EB: Pippi Longstocking
Kar-Ben: What’s your favorite line from a book?
rom George & Martha Encore : “The next day Martha had a terrible sunburn. She felt hot and itchy. But George never said 'I told you so.’ Because that’s not what friends are for. “

Kar-Ben: Who are your top three favorite authors or illustrators?
EB: Patricia Polacco, James Marshal,  Roz Chast, Jon Scieszka
Kar-Ben: Why did you want to become an author or illustrator?
EB: Children’s books are magic. In 32 pages, an entire universe is created…and they’re often enjoyed while sharing with someone. After years of producing interactive multimedia, with its large production teams, complicated process and individual use,  I wanted to create something for kids, that was simple to produce (relatively) and savored in that very special way. 
Kar-Ben: Do you have any advice for future authors or illustrators?
Just write (0r draw). Don’t edit along the way- not your thoughts, your grammar, your punctuation or your words. Don’t worry about how it will turn out. Just enjoy the process.

Where did you get the inspiration for your latest Kar-Ben book?
EB: The inspiration for Jumping Jenny came from a number of places. First of all, I never met a kid who didn’t like to jump and I myself was a jumper--in fact I could go up and down stairs on my pogo stick and once jumped a historic 1,000 jumps.  It was a big deal in my neighborhood and there are a few people from the ‘old neighborhood’ who still consider that my greatest accomplishment to date! The inspiration for the charity project came from my daughter’s wonderful Jewish day school which raises money for its sister school in Uganda. Overall, I wanted the message to be loud and clear: follow your passions- they will lead to something good.
Kar-Ben: How do you hope your book will impact the Jewish life of a child?
EB: Everyone, no matter how young or old, can do small acts that can make the world a better place- tikkun olam.  If you start young, it will become part of who you are for the rest of your life. 

-Max Edwards


Oct 9, 2012

Abracadabra! A Magical Jewish Connection

In Kar-Ben’s The Mitzvah Magician by Linda Elovitz Marshall, Gabriel the Great learns the power of mitzvoth through magic. While there might only be one Mitzvah Magician, many Jewish magicians have been part of the world of magic for quite some time.

Perhaps the most famous magician of all time, Harry Houdini, was born in Budapest as Erik Weisz, the son of Rabbi Mayer Samuel Weisz and Cecelia Weisz. When Harry was four, his family moved to Appleton, Wisconsin where his father led a Zion Reform Jewish Congregation in worship for nine years. Harry and his family then moved to New York City, where Harry began to cultivate and develop his skills as a magician. As a noted escape artist, Harry was world renown for his ability to escape any sort of obstacle or restraint. He died in 1926 and is buried in Machpelah Cemetery, a Jewish cemetery in Queens, New York.
If we then fast forward 30 years, almost to the exact day, illusionist David Seth Kotkin was born. Arguably, the most famous magician in the world, you might know him by his stage name, David Copperfield. Copperfield was born in Metuchen, New Jersey to Jewish parents Hyman and Rebecca Kotkin. Copperfield is known for his way of combining storytelling with illusion, earning him an astounding 21 Emmy awards!

What’s more? The famous adage “abracadabra” is of Jewish origin! The saying comes from Aramaic, the lingua franca of the Jews during the Second Temple Period (539 BCE - 70CE) and the main language in the Talmud. Similar to Hebrew, the word abra (אברא) in Aramaic means “I have created,” and the word cadabra (כדברא) means “by my speech.” Hence its use by magicians is meant to showcase their ability to create simply through their words.
-Max Edwards

Sep 24, 2012

Inside the Belly of the Whale

In the Jewish tradition, the ten days starting with Rosh Hashanah and ending Yom Kippur are known as the Days of Awe (Yamim Noraim). These days are customarily meant to be a time of introspection and self-examination, a time to ask forgiveness from God. Tradition has it that God has books, which we at Kar-Ben can appreciate. According to the Talmud, God opens the Book of Life on Rosh Hashanah, giving his people the opportunity to ask for forgiveness and to solidify their name being inscribed in the Book of Life on Yom Kippur.

The Book of Jonah is read on Yom Kippur, showing us the importance of forgiveness and second chances. We read of God giving the Ninevites a second chance and learn through Jonah’s actions the importance of gratitude and having an appreciatory mindset through life.
This Yom Kippur, explore these ideals with Oh No, Jonah! by Tilda Balsley. In this playfully written children’s version of the Book of Jonah, children are introduced to these Jewish principles, showing that everyone deserves the opportunity to change and be forgiven. Come explore Jonah’s journey!
by Max Edwards

illustration by Jago, from Oh No, Jonah!

Aug 28, 2012

Post, Pin and Tweet These Free Rosh Hashanah Greetings

Love to connect with friends and family using Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter? Send wishes for a wonderful New Year--feel free to repost and use these images (as is, without altering) on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter to usher in 5773!


Have a Sweet New Year with Honey Fun Facts

  • It is a tradition on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, to eat apples or challah dipped in honey as a wish for a sweet new year.
  • In the Torah, Israel is called “the land of milk and honey,” because its climate is ideal for grazing animals and growing flowers.
  • People have collected honey from bees since prehistoric times. In Tel Rehov archeologists found clay beehives which are over 3000 years old!
  • In Israel today, there are more than 90,000 beehives in over 6,000 locations around the country. Most of the honey they produce is sold at Rosh Hashanah time.
  • To make one pound (half a kilogram) of honey, bees must collect nectar from two million flowers.

Excerpted from What's The Buzz? Honey for a Sweet New Year by Allison Ofanansky and photographed by Eliyahu Alpern.

Visit a bee farm, and follow the bees, as they carry “kisses” from flower to flower, and return to their hives with their tummies full of nectar. Learn how the honey is extracted from the combs and makes its way from the hive to the table, to be enjoyed with slices of apples for a Rosh Hashanah treat.

Jul 24, 2012

Janusz Korczak and the Power of Storytelling

Though the Holocaust is unequivocally understood as a time of pain and suffering, of fear and distress, it was also a time of unshaken loyalty and devotion, showing the world that light can still exist in a period of darkness.

Kar-Ben author Gloria Spielman’s book, Janusz Korczak’s Children, illuminates this important aspect. In 38 pages, we hear the extraordinary story of Janusz Korczak, a Polish doctor, writer, and orphanage head who provided hundreds of children with food, shelter, and a sense of purpose. Though ultimately overtaken by the Nazis, Korczak stood by his children until the bitter end.

At night when the children were sleeping, Korczak would write children’s books that he would share with the children in his orphanage, sparking their imaginations and dreams. One of his books, Kaytek the Wizard, was recently translated into English. The book tells the story of a Polish boy that travels the world looking for meaning, only to realize that his home and family are what matter most.  Kaytek the Wizard was recently reviewed by Jewish Book Review blog.

Janusz Korczak’s Children teaches one of the most important lessons a child can learn: even in the harshest conditions, the human capacity for good remains, and the potential for light is ever-present.

 -Max Edwards

Purchase a print copy or eBook of Janusz Korczak's ChildrenDownload a free Teacher's Guide for this title

Jul 16, 2012

Seventy Years Since the “Vel d’Hiv” Raid

Today, July 16, 2012 marks the 70th anniversary of France's infamous Vel d'Hiv raid in paris. The first raid that included Jewish women and children, over 13,000 Jewish people of Paris were rounded up by French police. The victims were transported to the Vélodrome d’Hiver stadium in terrible summer heat and had little food or water. Most were deported to internment camps elsewhere in France and finally to Auschwitz.

Learn a bit about Marcel Marceau’s heroic role with the French Resistance in this period with the children’s book Marcel Marceau by Gloria Spielman, and for adults, Sarah's Key by Tatiana De Rosnay, France Under the Germans by Philippe Burrin, Not the Germans Alone: A Son's Search for the Truth of Vichy by Isaac Levendel, and The Holocaust, the French, and the Jews by Susan Zuccotti.

From Marcel Marceau: One day Marcel's cousin Georges, a leader of the Resistance, asked Marcel to lead a group of Jewish children to the Swiss border. It was a dangerous trip. Marcel was scared, but he hid his fear as he guided the children across the border into Switzerland and safety. Marcel made the trip several times, often dressing the children as boy scouts pretending to be on their way to camp.

Jul 10, 2012

Marriage Mini Photo-Essay from Tzfat

Kar-Ben author Allison Ofanansky’s books are synonymous with showing and sharing the joys of Jewish life. Each of her books (Sukkot Treasure Hunt, Harvest of Light and What’s the Buzz) offers a photo-essay and narration of a slice of life in Israel.

Sukkot Treasure Hunt tells the story of Allison’s family as they seek out all four species for their Sukkot celebration. As readers watch the family pursue their treasure hunt, they see what makes Israel a special place, and are introduced to the landscape and people of Tzfat. One of these people is Avichi. Recently Allison shared news from her community in Tzfat about Avichi.

Last week, on July 4, Avichi married a lovely young woman named Kirin! Just like the photos in Allison’s books, these wedding pictures are worth a thousand words and offer a glimpse into a wonderful celebration in Tzfat!

Mazel tov to the bride and groom!

Jun 25, 2012

Have an Imagination Vacation - Top 5 Books about Visiting Israel

Don’t have time or money to travel a long way this summer? Take an imagination vacation instead and explore all that makes Israel a special place.

5. Zvuvi’s Israel - With clever text and colorful pictures, Zvuvi takes the reader on a tour of Israel, buzzing through the modern cities, ancient ruins and nature preserves of the country, from north to south. Children can search for him hiding on the slopes of Mt. Hermon, in the salty waters of the Dead Sea, and among the models in the Mini-Israel theme park. Zvuvi has a blog…check it out!

4. Dinosaur Goes to Israel - Dino’s (Dinosaur on Hanukkah, Dinosaur on Passover, Dinosaur on Shabbat) adventures continue as he boards a plane for Israel. He munches on falafel, tucks a message high up on the Western Wall, and invites a friendly camel to go snorkeling in Eilat. Kids will chuckle at his comic escapades as a tourist.

3. Let’s Visit Israel - This board book highlights the many ways one can tour Israel-by Jeep, cable car, bus, camel, and foot. This simple book, with bright illustrations, is a perfect introduction to Israel for very young children. 

2. Ella’s Trip to Israel - Young Ella and her stuffed monkey take a trip to Israel with her family! Ella enjoys visiting the country's famous sites, while Koofi the monkey experiences Israel in his own surprising and endearing way!

Sammy Spider’s First Trip to Israel and Sammy Spider’s Israel Fun Book – the curious spider stows away and explores Israel with Josh and the Shapiros.
Free Activities: Download sample pages from Sammy Spider's Israel Fun Book! 

Jun 19, 2012

Stories Inspired By Real-Life Objects

We've got heavy rain, soaked ground and high humidity here in Minnesota. It is not a day to go outside and play. I imagine kids will be lurking around the house looking for something to do. Create a story challenge. Ask your child to write a story (or if they are too young, to draw you a story) inspired by an object in your home. Teach creative thinking by asking your child to carefully observe each room and its contents and to select three possible items. Then discuss the possibilities of each and help the child be enthusiastic about one item. Then, set them to work at the kitchen table or desk with paper and pencils and wait for genius to arrive. Inside the imagination is a great place to play.

Need a bit of inspiration? Grandma Rose's Magic, the latest book by Linda Elovitz Marshall (who also wrote the charming Talia and the Rude Vegetables and has another book, The Mitzvah Magician, forthcoming this fall) is inspired by a real-life object.

The story focuses on Grandma Rose, a skilled seamstress. She creates garments and goods for her customers, and saves the money she earns to purchase dishes she admires in the big downtown department store. But, when she has earned enough, the dishes are gone! To her surprise, she does receive the beautiful dishes that look just like the ones her grandma had, but not in the way she expected!

Grandma Rose's Magic is special, but even more so when you know it is inspired by a real set of dishes. Here is a picture, courtesy of the author!

What object would you write a story about?

Jun 12, 2012

Get to Know Author Eric Kimmel

Photo provided by Eric Kimmel
Kar-Ben author Eric A. Kimmel has been writing for children for over 40 years. His more than 100 titles include such classics as Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock, Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins, The Chanukkah Guest and Joseph and the Sabbath Fish. A native New Yorker, he now lives in Portland, Oregon. His hobbies include playing bluegrass banjo, riding horses and bicycles, and caring for his tropical fish, two cats, and pet snake. Visit Eric's website and hear him read his latest Kar-Ben book.

What was your favorite book when you were a child?  Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Treasure Island.

What’s your favorite line from a book? “One more step, Mr. Hands, and I’ll blow your brains out. Dead men don’t bite, you know.” Treasure Island

Who are your top three favorite authors or illustrators?
Robert Louis Stevenson, Howard Pyle, Rudyard Kipling

Why did you want to become an author or illustrator? I grew up loving books and stories. No other career seemed as exciting as one involving books.

Do you have any advice for future authors or illustrators? Persistence is what counts, not talent.
Where did you get the inspiration for Joseph and the Sabbath Fish?
It’s an old Jewish legend that I always enjoyed. I love retelling tales that I loved as a child.
What is the most interesting thing you learned in the process of writing Joseph and the Sabbath Fish?
How the same story can be found in different cultures all around the world. There are many tales about a supposedly luckless character who finds his fortune in a fish.

How do you hope Joseph and the Sabbath Fish will impact the Jewish life of a child? I hope that it will inspire children to never give up hope or surrender their ideals. You’re never defeated until you say you are.

What are some fun facts about you? I was multi-lingual as a child. I spoke Yiddish with my grandma; Hebrew at Hebrew School; French and Spanish in high school. I can fake German and Italian. In other words, I speak several languages badly.

Anything else you would like to share with readers? I enjoy learning yo-yo tricks. I like to go white water rafting. I want to learn how to handle a kayak. I wish I had my own horse. I love sitting in front of my computer, practicing my banjo.

Joseph and the Sabbath Fish
by Eric A. Kimmel
illustrated by Martina Peluso

A Sydney Taylor Notable Book

Joseph always welcomes guests to his Sabbath table, while his greedy neighbor Judah scoffs at Joseph’s generosity. Even as his fortunes decline, Joseph’s door remains open. But times change and Judah turns to his Joseph for help. A very special fish helps Joseph save the day.

ISBN: 978-0-7613-5909-8
Ages 5-9, Grades K-3
32 pages, 10 5/8 x 8 7/8

Jun 11, 2012

Plan an Archaeological Dig In a Sandbox Near You!

Reading books can inspire imagination, and can even become the basis for creative programming to bring the ideas in books to life. Inspired by Jodie's First Dig, the PJ Library organization in Pittsburgh created an archaelogical dig event that had hundreds of kids digging in a giant sandbox, singing about digging up artifacts and having a wonderful time.

How much fun would this activity be for a summer day camp? Or, file it away for Yom Ha'Atzmaut next year, to go along with lessons about Israel's history and geography.

May 17, 2012

Kar-Ben’s Brand New eBookstore!

We’ve recently unveiled our new eBookstore here at Kar-Ben Publishing. This is a great opportunity for us to enter new territory as a leader of the ever-evolving world of children’s literature.

If you have an iPad, check out our Kar-Ben eReader, with the adorable Sammy Spider on the application icon.

There are plenty of great reasons to try out eBooks for yourself and your children.
Portable-eBooks are weightless (except for your iPad or laptop). You can carry oodles and oodles of them and never feel a single back pain twinge. Instant entertainment.
Environmentally friendly-eBooks are paperless and therefore, are much friendlier to trees and the ozone as there are less manufacturing needs. There’s no need to ship eBooks, reducing the amount of vehicle pollution (your wallet is probably a lot happier on this point too). 
Storage space-Since all of your eBooks are located in one place, you no longer have to worry about how you’re going to fit in that extra bookcase. No more clutter as you try to stuff your paperbacks on top of each other. No more trying to dust bookcases and books.  Way more room for toys and dirty clothes to be thrown around! 

Easy to locate-It’s much harder to lose eBooks. A major plus if you’re slightly absent minded or have messy family members. They’ll always be exactly where you left them, unlike your car keys, and even be on the same page you were on.
Durable -eBooks won’t rip, tear, wrinkle, fade, or get dusty. The illustrations will always be vibrant. The binding won’t fall apart.  And my personal favorite, no more food stains! (There’s nothing better than curling up with your lunch and a book)

Teachable moments-eBooks are a great way to introduce children to the world of technology. Using the eBooks and eReader will help instill an intuitive sense for technology that will be essential for pretty much everything they’ll do in life: school, socializing, and work.

Create a free eBookstore account and read Feivel's Flying Horses eBook for free!  

May 11, 2012

Kar-Ben Books for Mother's Day!

Do your Mother's Day plans involve reading together? Here are a few titles to share this weekend!

A Grandma Like Yours
A whimsical collection of animal grandparents illustrate the characteristics of Jewish grandparents. Read about grandmas, bubbes and savtas!

Read together and then make up your own stories about your family!

Always an Olivia
An elderly black grandmother passes on the story of the family’s Jewish origins to her young granddaughter, Carol Olivia. As family members flee the Spanish Inquisition, are kidnapped by pirates and eventually sail to America, one daughter in each generation is given the name Olivia, from the Hebrew Shulamit meaning “peace,” to honor the Jewish part of their ancestry.
A Mother's Day visit is a perfect time to share your family history with young members of your family!

At God's command, Abraham and Sarah leave their home and travel to Canaan with family and friends. But their joy is always dimmed by their wish for a child. God has promised that Abraham will be the father of a nation.

One day three strangers arrive at their tent. Sarah overhears them talking to Abraham, saying that she will soon be a mother.

"I'm too old," she laughs. But God doesn't forget promises…

In a year, a baby is born. She names him Isaac, which means “laughter,” and the world rejoices with her.

Apr 25, 2012

Preschool or Kindergarten Graduation Gifts: A Top 5 List

Now is the time when plans for graduation ceremonies are in full swing, even for young students. Do you remember donning a cap (maybe made of construction paper--get the directions for the adorable cap above) and getting a little certificate rolled up and tied with yarn (so as to resemble a diploma)? I do. In fact, I was seaching for something in the plastic storage box I use to hold “life archives” and came across my kindergarten “diploma” just the other day. Pretty remarkable, since kindergarten happened over thirty years ago for me!
Give your “graduating class” a diploma and a present to remember you by!  

5. It’s Tot Shabbat by Naomi Danis is about a group of preschoolers learning about Shabbat. If your nursery school has a Friday afternoon oneg Shabbat, then chances are your students would fit right into the book. Help establish a love for Shabbat and its rituals with this sweet little book. (Plan ahead and take a picture of your class at your next Friday afternoon celebration, get duplicates made and slip one into each book!)

4. My First Hebrew Word Book is a perfect send-off gift! With over 150 Hebrew words, with transliterations and translations, it can inspire bilingualism and foster a love of learning and a love for Israel, plus it is really fun! Did you know that “galgiliyot” is how to pronounce “roller skates”?

3. The Shabbat Box is a particularly good choice for kids who are going on to a Jewish day school. It's finally Ira's turn to take home the Shabbat Box from school, but a bad storm blows open his book bag and the box is lost. Kids can relate to the story, and they learn that a perceived calamity is just that!  
2. Hannah’s Way tells the story of a girl who is the only Jewish student in her class! When her teacher tries to arrange carpools for a Saturday picnic, Hannah is upset. Her family is observant, and she knows she cannot ride on the Sabbath. See how Hannah’s schoolmates solve the problem and make Hannah feel included.

1. Sammy Spider has had many firsts, but just like preschool students, he wonders what school is actually like. It’s Sammy’s lucky day when he hitches a ride to preschool in Josh’s backpack! The children are learning the Jewish principle of kindness to animals, but what will happen when they discover a scary spider in the classroom?

Who doesn’t love Sammy? A plush toy would make graduation day extra special!