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.

Dance of the Puppet – Chapter 40

April 3, 2014

purple bookIsrael Book Shop presents Chapter 40 of a new online serial novel, Dance of the Puppet, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week. Click here for previous chapters. 

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

Getting Dovi Brim into yeshivah again.

Working out the problem with the state tests.

Reconciling between the teams from the Chanukah chagigah.

Making sure the teachers were happy with their schedules.

Elchanan, on the small sofa, raised his head from the paper he was reading. “It’s impressive,” he said. “But this list is too short. I’m sure that if you think a bit more, there will be lots to add to this list, much more than the four lines you have here. What about teaching a few girls some valuable lessons? And some adults, too?”

“If I did that, it was really incidental,” Yaffa said with a smile as she took back her paper. “But it really makes no difference. I just wanted to write a few things down to convince myself that I did do something during this time; that I wasn’t just a puppet these past few months, like I was at the beginning.”

“If someone was a puppet here, it was me,” Elchanan returned, his tone indiscernible. “A straw-man, like Moishe Berman put it. And don’t ask me what else he said, because I’m too tired to talk about it right now.”

Keep Reading…

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