NEW RELEASE! The Carpool Clan #2 – Crossroads

April 9, 2014

C366When Speed Bumps, the first book in the Carpool Clan series, made its debut less than a year ago, “tween”-aged girls snatched it up—and then clamored for more—so fast, that we had no choice but to bend to the pressure and produce a second book right away!

So here it is, girls! Crossroads, a book that spotlights Tehilla—though of course you’ll meet Shevy and the rest of the crew again in this book, too!

There’s lots going on in Tehilla Markson’s house. First her parents took a girl into their home for a while—a girl Tehilla isn’t sure she likes. Then her family is thrown into shock when a horrible medical emergency arises…

Tehilla finds herself at a crossroads. She knows what she can do to help things out; she knows what she should do—but…how could she give up such a tremendous thing?

As any “tween”-ager knows, life is about making choices and decision—not all of which are easy. Tweens will identify with Tehilla in this book, as they find themselves enjoying the superb story!

Click here to purchase online.


NEW RELEASE! My First Haggadah

April 8, 2014

C364Although every Yom Tov has its own unique characteristics, differentiating it from any other Jewish holiday, when it comes to Pesach…well, Pesach is in a class of its own. For which other Yom Tov do we turn our homes upside-down in the hunt for some wayward crumbs of chametz—and then turn everything right-side-up again in order to begin cooking up a storm and churning out one gourmet meal after another (all gebrochts-free and ingredient-free, of course!)?

There’s an apron I’ve seen that has a very succinct message emblazoned across it. When worn by an exhausted, overworked housewife during the Pesach season, it really says it all: Why is this night different than all the other nights? DON’T ASK!

But be this as it may, one of the most obvious unique points about Pesach is its definite focus on the children—including the very young ones. This is the Yom Tov where our little ones are encouraged to ask questions and participate in the goings-on around them. And with My First Haggadah, by acclaimed illustrator Ruth Beifus, you can be sure that your kids will be participating at the Seder with wide-eyed interest and excitement!

What makes this haggadah so kid-friendly is the fact that there is very little text—just a few necessary, explanatory lines—but many adorable and captivating pictures that really bring the story of Yetzias Mitzrayim alive for children.

Want to light up your little one’s Pesach Seder experience this year? Buy this haggadah for him/her, and watch the pleasure set in…

Click here to purchase online.


NEW RELEASE! Escape from Egypt

April 7, 2014

C365The interesting thing about Pesach is that no two families have the same minhagim. Take the Afikoman, for example. (Not the piece of matzah—that you’ll leave for your kids to take, or the leader of your Seder, or whoever has been self-appointed as the Afikoman Pickpocket of the Evening [read on]; I’m referring to the concept of it.) In some families, it’s the kids who take it, and then demand a ransom for its return. In other families, it’s the father or head of the Seder who hides it, and the kids have to find it. When they do, the father presents them with a prize. Does the father set the price for the prize, or do the kids? That depends on your minhag, too! And in still other families, the father/kids do the hiding/seeking—but there is no prize offered at all; the fun is simply “lishmah.

Whatever your particular family minhag is, the concept of an Afikoman present is familiar to all. And if you’re the one doing the Afikoman-present distributing to your kids (and even if your family doesn’t “do” the Afikoman-present-distributing thing, there’s nothing wrong with indulging your kids once in a while, anyway…)—you’ll want to read on. Here is a book that will definitely pique your—and your kids’—interest!

All kids love comics. And when an entire book is a comics story—and a great story, at that!—well, what could be better reading material for a child than that? Escape from Egypt is the suspenseful and dramatic story of Avi Friedman, a regular, modern-day boy, who journeys back in time to Mitzrayim, to a world ruled by merciless Egyptian taskmasters…

In this book, readers will follow Avi’s adventures, as he becomes a worker in Pharaoh’s palace…and then witnesses the ten Makkos…and experiences the splitting of the Yam Suf… If you’re looking for a way to really make your child “see himself as if he went out of Mitzrayim,” this book will certainly do the trick! (It will do the same for you, too, by the way!)

For the Afikoman present, or the no-reason-at-all present, of the season for your kids—Escape from Egypt is the book to buy. Turn a few pages of it yourself, and you’ll see what we mean!

Click here to purchase online.


NEW RELEASE! Not By Accident

April 2, 2014

L665Warning: do not start reading this book without a box of tissues at your side!

There. You were forewarned.

Yes, dear readers, this is a real tear-jerker of a novel. But don’t worry—that’s not its only claim to fame. Not by Accident is actually one of the most thought-provoking, beautifully-written books I’ve read in a long time. Each page whispers of themes so critical and so relevant to every single person, especially teens: the dangers of peer pressure; how important it is to be comfortable with yourself and to resist being a follower when your conscience screams at you not to; how to disassociate yourself from the “personalized” yitzrei hara in your life.

The book has its comic relief, too, such as the regaling of Leeba’s doll Avigayil Shprintza’s sorry demise, back when Leeba was an impulsive and bored seven-year-old. But mostly, the book pulses with the love that is inherent (though not always apparent) between two sisters. Anyone with a sister of her own will be able to relate to the sibling rivalry, competition, and jealousy that exists between Rosie and Leeba—and to the impossible-to-explain-but-impossible-to-ignore fierce love, protectiveness, and understanding that exists simultaneously and that underscores all the hard feelings.

Not by Accident is an excellent read, perfect to buy as a gift for that voracious reader in your life—or for yourself.

Click here to purchase online.


NEW RELEASE! From Darkness to Light

April 1, 2014

C363I remember one of the first times I saw a Gadi Pollak illustration: it took me about ten minutes to look at it! This may sound odd to those who are not familiar with this talented and acclaimed artist’s work, but for those who know about Pollak’s artistic genius, it makes a lot of sense. Each picture Gadi Pollak creates is so chock-full of details that if you don’t pore over it for some time, you will certainly miss a whole lot of them.

That’s why, if you are planning to buy Gadi Pollak’s newest children’s Haggadah, called From Darness to Light, make sure you give yourself plenty of time, so that you can fully appreciate this masterpiece! Each extra-wide two-page spread consists of an exquisite, intricately-detailed illustration that incorporates many midrashim on the event portrayed in the picture. For example, Makkas Tzefardei’a—the Plague of Frogs—depicts a very realistic scene of what was going on in Mitzrayim at the time, complete with the huge frog spitting out many small ones as Egyptians stand over it, hitting the giant frog again and again, and animals and people fleeing in fright from all the noisy, croaking creatures.

Although officially a children’s book, adults will find themselves mesmerized by this Haggadah, as well. It really gives its readers—no matter what age—a feel of exactly what transpired during the events of Yetzias Mitzrayim.

Click here to purchase online.

Click here for a sample page.
from darkness to light sample 2

 


NEW RELEASE! Enough is Enough

March 26, 2014

L661Rav Shimon Schwab related how the Chofetz Chaim fasted because of a bad dream. He was old and weak, and his family wasn’t happy about his decision to fast. They asked, “What did you dream?”

“I dreamt that I’d become rich,” he answered.

“Is such a dream so terrible that it requires that you fast?”

“Absolutely,” said the Chofetz Chaim. “If it was a dream that reflects my thoughts during the day, then I must fast as penance. How unseemly of a man of my age to have such thoughts. If it is a prophetic dream, then all the more so must I fast to avert the evil decree, for wealth is a difficult test from which one must flee.” (She’al Avicha V’yagedcha, vol.3, pg. 299)

 

In Enough is Enough, Rebbetzin S. Feldbrand offers a treasury of inspiration to help us rise above our desire for wealth and become everything we can be—our best and most joyful selves—no matter what our financial bracket or circumstances in life may be. Take advantage of the powerful, down-to-earth advice, stories, and examples in this unique book, and begin your journey to become a better you!

Click here to purchase online.


NEW RELEASE! Jeremy and Heddy Levi

March 25, 2014

C362C361I have to admit, not every book we publish sends a thrill of anticipation running through me—but these two classics definitely did! Oh, for the glory of nostalgia! How vividly I recall reading all about Jeremy and Heddy Levi as a kid, curled up on my bed, oblivious to all else but the zany antics and activities of this whacky yet lovable—and oh-so-true-to-life—brother and sister.

When it comes to creating characters that the reader feels he or she has actually met and befriended, no one beats Yaffa Ganz. It’s not for nothing that she’s written over forty children’s book—and still has lots more to produce, b’ezras Hashem! Every time I read a Yaffa Ganz book, I’m always amazed at her keen perception into the mind of a child, and with Jeremy and Heddy, she really outdoes herself.

How does she manage to make you feel sympathy for Jeremy, what with all the trouble he gets himself into, but still laugh out loud when reading about his stint with the Livyasan bathtub-turned-boat that he built with his friend Sammy? And when it comes to Heddy…don’t get me started, because this precocious girl will have you in stitches after just one or two chapters! Trust me on that one!

So whether you’re as passionate a fan of The Adventures of Jeremy Levi and Hello Heddy Levi! as I am, or you’re young enough to have never read these books before and are just hearing about them now for the first time, I’d advise  you to pick yourself up a copy of both of them at the first opportunity possible. You’ll be thanking me for that advice soon!

Click here to purchase The Adventures of Jeremy Levi online.

Click here to purchase Hello Heddy Levi! online.


NEW RELEASE! Shabbos Table Impact!

March 20, 2014

 L666It was sheva brachos for Yehuda Yitzchaki and Yehudis Yakabovitch. Yehudis’s father Yekusiel got up to say a few words.

“I would like you all to know why I took this young man as my son-in-law,” he began. “A few months back, I had to go from Yerushalayim to Bnei Brak. It was a blistering hot day and I was in a hurry, so I went to a hitchhiking spot to hitch a ride. A car stopped, and it was driven by none other than my new son-in-law Yehuda. We started driving and hit a real bad traffic jam. The trip took close to two hours, it was hot, and the car didn’t have air conditioning. Yet not once,” here he paused for dramatic effect, “not once during this frustrating trip did Yehuda honk at anyone. Not once! When I saw his self-control, I decided this was the young man for my daughter.” Yekusiel finished with a few words of brachah and sat down.

Yehuda leaned over towards him. “My horn wasn’t working that day,” he explained with an apologetic smile.

 

Got you to smile? Do I have your attention now? Sometimes all it takes is a short but powerful story, like the one above, to get your reader’s or your audience’s attention.

That’s why Rabbi Dovid Kaplan’s Impact! books are such a hit. Each one is filled with stories and anecdotes with punch lines that can make you roar with laughter, or fill your eyes with tears, or, at the very least, cause you to pause and think. What more can anyone who needs to give a speech—or to listen to one—ask for?

Shabbos Table Impact!, the latest book in the Impact! series, is no different. In this book, the “punchy” short stories are on the parshah, and each one drives home an immediate message or lesson for the reader that will make him think about the parshah in a way he may never have thought before.

For example, the above story about the chassan with assumed self-control appears in the book under Parshas Bamidbar. Oh, you want to know the lesson it brings out from that parshah? You’ll have to read the book to find that out…

Click here to purchase online.


NEW RELEASE! Free At Last – From Mud to Mirth

March 19, 2014

C357Do you have non-religious relatives whose kids are curious about Passover? Are your neighbor’s secular grandchildren coming to her for the Pesach Seder?

For those in need of a great kiruv tool this Pesach for newcomers to Judaism, Free At Last—From Mud to Mirth, is exactly what you need. Beautifully illustrated and accompanied by a Hebrew-English Haggadah, this whimsical and dramatic account brings readers behind the scenes of what happened during the slavery of Mitzrayim and the redemption. It comes along with its own musical read-along CD, so that even young children can appreciate what the book has to offer (before Yom Tov, that is; make sure to remove the CD from its sleeve if you want to use the book and Haggadah on Pesach!).

You may find yourself howling with laughter with Free At Last, but one thing is for sure: this book will definitely give its readers a terrific understanding of sipur Yetziyas Mitzrayim, in a really fun way!

Click here to purchase online.


NEW RELEASE! Chanie Goes to the Dentist

March 13, 2014

C356With my family’s bad dental history, I know I shouldn’t have been surprised. Still, when the dentist informed me that my four-year-old had seven cavities in her mouth, I kind of smiled, swallowed hard, and sweetly asked him, “Can you run that by me again, please?”

But my ears had heard right. And as my brain processed that information, I felt the horror rise up within me, faster than the bubbling water in the fountain outside in the medical building’s lobby.

Seven cavities! Seven cavities!

How, pray tell, was my daughter going to get through this? For that matter, how was I, her mother, going to get through this?

I wish I’d had the book Chani Goes to the Dentist, to help prepare my daughter for what was to come. But alas, this was last year, and the book hadn’t yet made its debut. And so all I had in my arsenal of tools with which to calm my little girl were my tefillos, of course; my hand (which she wouldn’t let go of the entire time she sat in the dentist’s chair); and some little trinket as a prize for when she was all done (you didn’t actually think the prize would be a lollipop, did you?).

But all of you parents who are presently dealing with your kids’ upcoming dentist appointments looming over your heads, especially if there will be cavity fillings done then—take heart! Here is a book that will really help prepare your child for all that will happen at the dentist, in a calm, reassuring, and even fun way!

In Chani Goes to the Dentist, written by the same author as the popular Moshe Goes to Yeshiva, kids discover exactly what happens when a cavity is filled, and how it’s not such a scary procedure after all. At the end of the book, Chani, who had a cavity filled, walks out of the dentist’s office with a big smile on her face—and your child can, too! All it takes is some gentle preparation beforehand, which is exactly what this book provides, and lots of Heavenly assistance from Above.

Oh, and a little trinket as a prize, too.

Click here to purchase online.


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