Right Angles

July 21, 2021

LA225

Right Angles

You know those first-year teachers you can spot from a mile away? The ones who clickety-clack into the classroom in their high heels and blazers, with nary a smile in sight, because, as any fresh seminary grad who completed her teaching course will tell you, the rule of thumb is not to give the faintest hint of a smile to your students until Chanukah time.

That’s the kind of teacher Perri had. Yet despite Miss Fishman’s strict demeanor, and all her carefully prepared lessons, Perri thought nothing of acting out in her class and behaving otherwise obnoxiously toward her teacher.

How could Miss Fishman have known about all the water under the bridge in this student’s life?

In this well-written, emotion-laden novel, we meet a fun-loving, outgoing teenage girl, whose breeziness and air of extreme nonchalance tightly mask the turbulence and heartbreak going on beneath the surface. As the story progresses, the characters become alive in the reader’s mind, and our hearts go out to both Perri and her family and to Miss Fishman, who, through no fault of her own, has no inkling as to why her student is giving her such “royal” treatment.

Right Angles is a thought-provoking and enjoyable read, whose subtle message of the importance of seeing the bigger picture, rather than just one angle of it, comes through beautifully and clearly.

Click here to purchase online.


Danger Deep Down

June 10, 2021

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Danger Deep Down

If you know someone with a disability, then you know how awful and misunderstood it feels when you see that person being, well, misunderstood by others.

I’ve had personal experience with this. A close relative of mine has Down’s syndrome. Once, this relative and her disability came up in a conversation I was having with a friend. I was very taken aback when my friend flippantly remarked, “Oh, so she’s unwell.”

Huh? I remember thinking. Unwell?  Someone who is sick is considered “unwell.” But what does Down’s syndrome have to do with being sick?! I know that Down’s syndrome often comes along with health issues, but baruch Hashembli ayin hara, this relative is doing just fine health-wise. Why would my friend immediately equate a disability with a physical sickness?!

In Danger Deep Down, a beautifully written novel for tweens and teens by Sarah Feldbrand, we meet Shai, a boy on the autistic spectrum who is similarly misunderstood by his peers. Shai is a brilliant and sensitive boy who has so much to offer, but the parents of many of his classmates don’t want to see that. They don’t want their “normal” children interacting with a “strange” kid, and they want Shai out of the mainstream school.

It takes an exciting—though frightening—mystery, and lots of sleuth work on Shai and his friend Motty’s parts, for people to start realizing what a wonderful kid Shai really is…

If you’re looking for a great book for your kids to read, filled with suspense, adventure, and excellent lessons, not to mention layers of depth…then Danger Deep Down is the book you want.

Click here to purchase online.


I Believe!

December 21, 2020

C583

I Believe!

The power of a song…it’s really incredible.

Ask me a question on something I learned in third grade, and I’ll give you a blank look. I mean, who remembers what they learned in third grade?! But ask me to tell you a pasuk from Birkas Yaakov, and I can rattle it off for you, though that was something I’d learned in third grade too. What’s the difference? You see, we learned Birkas Yaakov in a song, and my classmates and I must have sang it 100 times or more over the years in elementary school, every Parshas Vayechi, and every time we met our old third-grade teacher in the hallway and wanted to impress her…you get the picture.

There’s no question about it: songs stick in the mind. You don’t even have to take my word for it; there are scientific studies to back this up! And that’s why we believe so strongly (excuse the pun!) in Rabbi Mordechai Dubin’s new, groundbreaking book-and-CD, I Believe!

Rabbi Dubin, a talented mechanech who also has a passion for music, wanted to ingrain the thirteen Ani Maamin’s into the minds and hearts of his young students. With this goal in mind, he took the words of the Ani Maamin’s which are found in the siddur, translated them into easy English, and then put the words to a beautiful and catchy tune. The results? A stunning song that, once you listen to it a few times, you’ll find yourself singing over and over again.

The book that goes along with the CD is a masterpiece in and of itself. The illustrations are gorgeous and lifelike, and really bring the words of the song to life. The beauty of the two—book and CD—is that with them, you can teach your kids the Thirteen Principles of our faith without delivering a single lecture or lesson. Just pop the CD into a CD player, hand your little ones the book…and watch the magic begin. It won’t be long before your kids will have these fundamental concepts memorized, and you’ll hear them singing the precious words of the Ani Maamin’s as they go about their day.

And really, as ma’aminim bnei ma’aminim—isn’t this something all frum parents for their children?

Click here to purchase online.

 


Framed

December 16, 2020

C557Framed!

“All of my kids loved this book, from my 3rd grader up to my 9th grader!”

“My son could not put this book down!”

This is some of the feedback we’ve been hearing from parents whose kids have read Framed! Or perhaps “gobbled up” would be a better way of putting it!

There’s something unusual about this book. It’s a top-notch, spine-tingling, bona fide thriller novel, yet there are no phones (certainly no cell phones!), cars, or planes anywhere in the plot. That’s because the story takes place in long-ago Eastern Europe, when fervently religious but illiterate peasants were mainstays at Jewish-owned taverns, and Catholic priests were often conniving, insincere individuals who wanted nothing more but to harm the Jews…and line their pockets with money.

Against this historical backdrop, skilled author Chayele Kohane weaves a dramatic plot that will keep your tweens and teens on their toes, from the first page until the very last. This is a most wholesome novel, and it contains plenty of wonderful lessons as well. But at the same time, there’s no skimping on the fun and suspense with this book!

Read Framed! for yourself (adults have loved it too!), and you’ll see just what we mean!

 

Click here to purchase online.


NEW RELEASE: Middos Man – Vol. 6

December 8, 2020

MiddC584os Man – Vol. 6

There’s nothing like being pulled frantically in four different directions, all at the same time, to make you feel like you’ve earned your stripes in mommy-hood.

The first kvetch isn’t so bad: “Mo-o-m-m-m-y-y! I’m hungry! I want something to eat, NOW!!” Then comes the plaintive call from the bathroom: “Mommy, could you help me?” This is followed by the telltale signs of a fight in progress—slap, pinch, bang—and then, “Mommy! He hit me!” and, “She started it! She took away my ball!” (Of course that’s usually just about when the phone will decide to ring, the doorbell will chime, and your pot of soup on the stove will boil over—but that’s all besides the point.)

What should you do first?!

As the cries and calls escalate in their intensity, you throw your hands up in frustration and ask, “Can’t all you kids just have a little bit of PATIENCE?!

But you know, patience is not just something that’s helpful to mothers. Patience is actually an important middah that everyone—not just kids—needs to acquire and demonstrate in many situations in life. Of course the best place to start is by teaching it to our children when they’re young.

And what better way to do that than with good ‘ol MiddosMan???

Join MiddosMan on yet another adventure to combat Mr. Yetzer Hara—this time while teaching kids how to have patience. The read-along CD makes the experience even more entertaining for kids, while the fun illustrations and exciting details (check out MiddosMan’s awesome fly shoes!) make the story come alive!

If your kid is one of MiddosMan’s many fans, this is the best gift you can give him. And if he hasn’t met MiddosMan yet—well, what are you waiting for??? (This is not the time to have patience!)

Click here to purchase online.


NEW RELEASE: Exploring the Wonders of the Human Anatomy

November 30, 2020

LA191Exploring the Wonders of the Human Anatomy

Did you also grow up thinking that those white spots on your fingernails were caused by a lack of calcium, since you didn’t drink enough milk? Or that eating carrots will improve your eyesight? Or that if you swallowed a watermelon seed, you’d grow a watermelon inside you?

Okay, that last one I’m sure you outgrew by the time you were six, but those other long-believed myths? Many adults haven’t outgrown them and still think they are true!

That’s why it’s so important to make sure your kids read Exploring the Wonders of the Human Anatomy, the latest book in the Jewish World of Wonders series, by Efraim Harari. Okay, it’s not the only reason why they should read this book—far from it! The main reason is: they will absolutely love, love, LOVE it, and will be kept busy reading it for hours at a time. The book is chock-full of all kinds of fascinating information about our amazing body, with full-color photos and adorable illustrations, not to mention informative diagrams and fun-facts, hilarious jokes, and so much more, all written from a Torah perspective. Readers will learn about the various systems in the body, the specific role each organ and body part plays, and how everything functions so harmoniously together—true nissim and nifla’os ha’Borei.

For a gift this Chanukah that will entertain your kids as well as truly educate and inform them in Torah-true fashion, Exploring the Wonders of the Human Anatomy is the answer.

Oh, and the REAL reason for white spots on fingernails? Check out page 81 for that!

Click here to purchase online.


NEW RELEASE: Me First Manny

November 26, 2020

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Me First Manny

Observe any preschool class (and often older classes as well…) during “line-up,” and you’ll see the same thing: kids running to be FIRST on line. What is it about being FIRST that’s so great?? I guess you’d have to be a kid to answer that question… But as adults, what we do know is that this “I’m first!” business often gets out of hand. I mean, what about those poor kids who happen to sit at the back of the classroom and can’t race to the front as fast as their other classmates? Are they doomed to always go to recess/get their snack/leave the room last? Not to mention the arguments these “I’m first!” kids always seem to engender with each other (because, after all, how many “I’m first!” kids can actually be the first?!)…

If you’re one of the many exasperated parents or teachers out there who are looking for a solution to this problem, look no further than Me First Manny, an absolutely adorable children’s book by Sari Grunwald and Shuli Marmorstein. Following the smashing success of their first book, Manny in a Pickle, this author/illustrator duo set out to create a book that would show kids just how ridiculous it is to always insist on being first for everything. In Me First Manny, the beloved Manny character takes his “Me-First” tendency a bit TOO far…to the amusement and delight of all readers of this book!

Kids will love reading this book and poring over the detailed illustrations, over and over again, and best of all, the message that, “It’s NOT the worst, if you are in the middle, and someone else is first” will really resonate with them. Hopefully, you’ll begin seeing the positive results of that quite soon!

Click here to purchase online.

 


NEW RELEASE: Hide & Seek

November 25, 2020

LA195Hide & Seek

When you have one kid reading a book over another kid’s shoulder, because Kid 1 simply cannot wait for Kid 2 to finish the book before reading it herself…you know you have a GREAT book on your hands.

When a book can so thoroughly entertain a bunch of bored tweens on a long winter’s evening, that you hardly hear anything from them for hours on end…you know there’s something extra special about the book.

When this book becomes THE talked-about subject among said tweens and their friends for the next few days…you know you’ve got to let the public know about this amazing product!

Folks, let me introduce you to Hide & Seek, a novel for teens and tweens by popular author Brachah Rosman. Here’s a book that’s got every element that kids love in it: suspense, adventure, scariness, unexpected plot twists, and finally, a happy ending. Of course, the book has lots of wonderful, Torah-true messages woven through it as well—but those sink into the readers’ minds subconsciously, without the readers even realizing it, as they are too busy trying to figure out what will happen next to pay close attention to anything else.

So, if you’re looking to give your child (or yourself—we’ve gotten so much enthusiastic feedback about this book from adults, too!) a really fantastic gift, go ahead and buy a copy of Hide & Seek. Trust me, this is a purchase you won’t regret.

Click here to purchase online.


NEW RELEASE: The Chief

November 23, 2020

LA193The Chief

Reb Chaim received a call one evening.

“Hello, is this Rabbi Goldzweig?” asked the man on the line.

“Yes, it is.”

 “I am visiting from Toronto for business and staying in a hotel downtown. I was told to call you for information about where I can get kosher food,” the caller explained.

Rabbi Goldzweig told the man that the kosher stores and restaurants were all located on the north side of Chicago, but that they would probably be closing within the hour. The man sounded disappointed that he would not be able to make it in time to get something to eat.

Reb Chaim told the man, “You know what? Let me stop off at the store and get you some sandwiches and I’ll bring them down to you. I should be there in about an hour.”

The man protested that Reb Chaim shouldn’t bother, but Reb Chaim told him not to worry about anything.

An hour later, Rabbi Goldzweig reached the hotel and saw a distinguished-looking Orthodox Jew in the lobby. He introduced himself and handed him a bag of sandwiches and other food.

“I can’t believe you came all the way downtown just for me!” the man said. “How much do I owe you?” He pulled out his wallet.

“Don’t worry about it. It’s my pleasure,” Reb Chaim reassured the man.

The man smiled and shook Reb Chaim’s hand. “My name is Moshe Reichmann and, thank G-d, I can afford to pay for it. I refuse to take the food without paying. Please tell me how much I owe you.”

Rabbi Goldzweig had never heard of the famous Canadian philanthropist. He smiled back and said, “Well, my name is Chaim Goldzweig, and have you ever heard of something called chessed? I refuse to take money for a chessed.

Mr. Reichmann looked at Rabbi Goldzweig incredulously. “Have you ever heard of me? My company is Olympia and York.”

“Hmm.” Rabbi Goldzweig thought for a moment. “I know where Olympia is and I know where York is, but they are nowhere near each other! But listen, if you want, you can take the money and give it to tzedakah instead.”

A little while later, Rabbi Goldzweig received a call from one of the rabbis at the OU.

“Chaim, you know you brought food to a man staying downtown?”

“Yeah,” Rabbi Goldzweig said. “He said his name is Reichmann or something like that. Why do you ask?”

“Chaim, that was Moishe Reichmann, one of the richest people in the world. You asked him if he knows what chessed is? He is one of the biggest ba’alei tzedakah around. He just called me to see if we have people from the moon working for the OU!”

But Reb Chaim wasn’t impressed. He would have done the same thing had the man not had a penny to his name.

Meet Reb Chaim Goldzweig. If you hadn’t heard of him until now, the above anecdote illustrates exactly the kind of person he was. A larger-than-life figure, he was the one on whose shoulders rested much of the kashrus industry of the world. But that was in the public eye.

In the privacy of his home, Reb Chaim was a ba’al tzedakah who supported countless individuals and institutions—even though he was not a rich man. He was the man who ran an open house that was literally just that: a house where random guests and homeless people felt comfortable opening the fridge, answering the phones, and changing the temperature of the thermostat, as if they were all bona-fide family members. He was the scion of chassidic Rebbes, whose bitachon in Hashem was genuine and absolute. And, of course, he was a beloved husband, father, and zeidy, who enjoyed nothing more than pampering his loved ones.

The Chief, written by a son-in-law, Rabbi Ephraim Nisenbaum, offers a peek into the life and legacy of Reb Chaim Goldzweig. In this book, you will read the fascinating history of the kashrus movement in America, and the enormous role that Reb Chaim played in it. You will also read many of the sometimes-scary-sometimes-hilarious-but always-entertaining stories that Reb Chaim experienced along his colorful journey as a globe-trotting mashgiach. As well, you will gain immeasurable chizuk and inspiration from the actions of this humble, self-effacing giant in chessed.

Click here to purchase online.


NEW RELEASE: Falsely Accused

October 13, 2020

The 39 Melachos with Rabbi Juravel –C573 Falsely Accused

There’s a family on my block that has a bunch of super-inquisitive, constantly-needing-to-be-entertained children. Not the kind of crew where you give them some books and some Clics and you don’t hear from them until supper.

Anyway, the mother recently told me that she discovered a gold mine for her kids: Rabbi Juravel CDs, and especially his exciting hilchos Shabbos ones. These are 3 CDs, each one containing a suspenseful, action-packed story which incorporates the Lamed-Tes Melachos and weaves them into the storyline, thus successfully teaching kids many important hilchos Shabbos.

“My kids are glued to these CDs,” she told me. “And would you believe it, they actually tell me all the time what I am and what I’m not allowed to do on Shabbos, based on the halachos they learn from the stories! I’m loving it!”

To this mom, and to all parents out there who have had similarly gratifying experiences with the phenomenal Rabbi Juravel Hilchos Shabbos CDs, here’s a happy piece of news: It gets even better! Because CD #1 of this series—Falsely Accused—is now available in comics book form for kids!

Yes, you read that right. If your kids love comics books, and they love thrilling and suspenseful stories, they can get their fix straight from Rabbi Juravel himself, and learn loads of hilchos Shabbos in the process, as well!

A one-of-a-kind reading experience that is guaranteed to delight and entertain kids of all ages…and their parents too!

Click here to purchase online.