Apr 26, 2013

Have You Met Sadie (and the Author Who Created Her)?

Wonderfully preciocious and charmingly sweet, to know Sadie is to love her. She worries all week long when she learns that her class will be climbing a mountain to celebrate Shavuot, relieved that it just turns out to be a hill behind her school. She solves the problem of inviting guests to dine in the family's sukkah at an early hour by inviting her stuffed animals as breakfast guests. In the newest book in the series--number 3 of 6 planned so far--Sadie artistic expressions in clay smash to bits by accident, yet she finds a way to salvage the pieces and make a new family tradition. Sadie's Sukkah Breakfast and Sadie and the Big Mountain have been embraced by readers who are looking forward to a new release this fall, Sadie's Almost Marvelous Menorah.

Sadie is the brainchild of Jamie Korngold, who is the mom of two girls Sadie and Ori. Jamie is the spiritual leader of the Adventure Rabbi Program. She received her ordination from Hebrew Union College- Jewish Institute of Religion. She has served as a congregational rabbi in the U.S. and Canada, a street musician in Japan, a cook on a boat in Alaska helping with the Exxon Valdez oil spill clean-up, and an Outward Bound guide. She is the author of the Sadie series, the best-selling God in the Wilderness (Doubleday) and The God Upgrade (Jewish Lights). She lives in Boulder, Colorado.

Let's get to know author Jamie Korngold:

Jamie appears as a character in Sadie and the Big Mountain
What was your favorite book when you were a child?
Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish pictures by Fritz Siebel

What’s your favorite line from a book?
“The night is keen and cold.”  – Lauren Thompson Polar Bear Night

Who are your top three favorite authors or illustrators?
Amy Hest (the Friday Night’s of Nana)
Jane Dyer
Dr. Seuss

Why did you want to become an author or illustrator?
I love to tell stories!

Do you have any advice for future authors or illustrators?
Read and listen to lots and lots of books. Notice the words that make up the story. Words are so much fun. I love of words. When you discover a word that is fun to say (for example I love to say, “bumble bee and pumpernickel”) make up a story using those words. The secret ingredient for making a fabulous book is to use words that paint pictures in the reader’s mind. The order of the words is also important, but getting the right words is the key!

This is my favorite word game. Invite your family or friends to pick the characters or objects to put in your story.  For example, yesterday my daughters asked for a story with, princesses, a warthog, and pumpernickel bagels.  Then you get to make up a story using those words.

Where did you get the inspiration for your latest or upcoming Kar-Ben book?
Sadie’s Almost Marvelous Menorah is a true story, except it happened to me and the menorah was light blue. I was about 5-years old. I can still remember how broken hearted I was when I dropped the menorah and it shattered. My mom was ingenious for coming up with the idea of Super Shammus.  What a great mom. We still have Super Shammus!

What are you most excited about promoting in your new book?
I admire how the mother takes a child’s perceived catastrophe and turns it into a celebration.  There is a lot of great parenting in that moment!

The theme of all my children’s books is that we have to make Judaism our own for it make our lives more meaningful.

How do you hope your book will impact the Jewish life of a child?
I hope this book reminds  kids that there is always  a place at the Jewish table for them. In this story the broken menorah gets to be the star. You don’t have to be perfect to have a place at the Jewish table.

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